A Norwegian Group Wants to Give Finland a Mountain
Halti would become Finland's new high point.
Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
As Christmas gifts go, it might just be the season’s biggest: A group of Norwegians wants to give Finland a mountain.
The summit in question, 4,478-foot Haltitunturi, lies just on the Norwegian side of the border. If the plan laid out by the Facebook group “Halti som jubileumsgave” (“Halti as an anniversary gift”) becomes a reality, the two countries would move their frontier a few hundred feet to the northeast, making the peak Finland’s new high point. (Its current high point is a spot on the Finnish slopes of the mountain.)
Engineer Bjorn Geirr Harsson said he first came up with the idea in 1972, while performing an aerial survey of the area around Haltitunturi (or Ráisduattarháldi, as it’s known in Norway). With Finland preparing to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2016, he thought the upcoming year would be an ideal time for the gift.
“We would not have to give away any part of Norway. It would barely be noticeable,” he told Norwegian broadcaster NRK. “And I’m sure the Finns would greatly appreciate getting it.”
While the foreign ministry has yet to respond to a letter from Harsson, his former employer, the Norwegian Mapping Authority, is already on board.
“I must say that I think it’s a very good idea,” Anne Cathrine Frostrup, the head of the agency, said. “It is a nice gift to give to a country that lacks a high mountain, where the highest point isn’t even a peak.”
At time of writing, the campaign has more than 11,000 likes.