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Sport: 100th Anniversary of Climbing Club JAMES Issue number
Date of issue
Face value
0.65 €

     The Slovak Mountaineering Union JAMES (SMU) brings together sportspeople who are interested in all types of mountain climbing activity, ranging from indoor climbing and bouldering to climbing the highest peaks on the planet. It supports its members, provides young climbers and beginners with training and educates them. It organises expeditions and, together with environmentalists, regulates the climbing activities in individual areas. It encourages its members to protect nature, organises events, evaluates the overall activity of the union and the results of competitions in various individual disciplines. The Union publishes the magazine Horolezec and, together with the Slovak Tourists Club, manages 4 chalets in the High Tatras. SMU JAMES is a member of the following international mountaineering associations: the UIAA, IFSC, EUMA and IFSC Europe.

     It was established in 1921 by three mountain climbers from Spišská Nová Ves and they named it after their favourite canned peaches, james. Later on, each letter was assigned a meaning: Idealism, Alpinism, Mortality (today replaced with Morality), Eugenics (today Enthusiasm) and Solidarity. Until World War II, Slovaks only rarely participated in the highest level of climbing activities in the Tatras. After this, they began to climb in the Caucasus and the Alps.  In the late 1960s, they already represented the avant-garde of the Tatras and started to be successful, even in the cradle of alpinism, through demanding ascents to the peaks of the highest European mountains.  Their successes in the Tatras, Alp, Caucasus and Norwegian Mountains were followed by expeditions to the Pamir Mountains and the Hindu Kush. 

     In 1971, members of JAMES were the first people from Eastern Europe to conquer Nanga Parbat and 13 years later, the roof of the world, Mount Everest. In the 1980s and 90s, they were among the top competitors at world ski mountaineering competitions. In recent years, they have made their mark in mountain climbing history by ascending the difficult high rock faces of the Western Alps, the mountain ranges of Kyrgyzstan, the Karakoram Mountains and Patagonia, as well as through climbing competitions.

The motif of the postage stamp is a detail of the installation author’s statue “Bivouac” on the rock wall of Lomnický štít. On the FDC overprint is depicted so-called “climbing score”, graphic presentation of a climber’s movement on a rock wall.

 Martin Šperka

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