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In times of climate change, Barents ski race called off

People in the border areas between Norway, Russia and Finland are not that concerned about the cold when skiing.

The traditional ski race crossing the borders of Norway, Russia and Finland is cancelled due to lack of snow.

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“Very sad since we have 70 people signed up. Let’s hope for next year and more snow then,” writes Pasvikturist, the organizer on the Norwegian side of the border, on their Facebook-page

The border areas between Russia’s Kola Peninsula, Kirkenes in Norway and Inari in Finland, have experienced the warmest February in modern times. On the last day of February, all of Norway had plus degrees Celsius, from Lindesnes in the south to North Cape in Finnmark. Norway’s border areas to Russia have simultaneously been the driest February within the memory of man. 

Barents ski race was supposed to take place on March 15. Murmansk sport committee made the decision to call off the race, in Russian named “Ski Friendship 2014.” Last year, some 2,800 people, mainly Russians, took part in the race. Barents Ski race took place first time in 1993, only a year after the fall of the Soviet Union, and marked a new area of cross-border trust and friendship between the three Barents countries Russia, Norway and Finland. The border guards that earlier were looking suspiciously at each other across the east-west nearly closed border could now run side-by-side in a peaceful ski-race. 

Head of the Committee for Physical Cultural and Sports in the Murmansk region, Vladimir Bogdanov says to GTRK Murman that “In the tracks on the Norwegian side there are two very dangerous descent with very large stones that are almost clear due to lack of snow.”