Changing weather conditions alter the ski route

The 1978 Finlandia-hiihto started with slushy weather conditions. Photo Collection of Finlandia-hiihto.

The Finlandia-hiihto route and distance have had to be altered due to weather conditions a number of times since the 1970s. Already in 1975, the start took place exceptionally from the ice of Lake Vesijärvi and covered the original 50 km ski route of the Lahti Ski Games.

Weather phenomenas have significantly affected the arrangements and popularity of Finlandia-hiihto. The number of participants dipped at the end of the 1980s: the major reason was unreliable weather. The ski route later stayed close to Lahti and sometimes returned to the Hämeenlinna-Lahti route. In the 1990s, the start was moved to Lahti on five occasions due to bad skiing weather.

The snow cover was light at the Finlandia-hiihto, 1995. Photo Collection of Finlandia-hiihto.

The last time the event was skied from Hämeenlinna to Lahti was in 1999, when a new timing system based on tags was also adopted for the first time. In 2000, the final decision was made on a permanent route for Finlandia-hiihto: Lahti-Hollola-Lahti. The Lahti Sports Centre provided a wonderful setting for the Finlandia-hiihto start and finish.

The basis of the change was the undeniable warming of the climate.

Finlandia-hiihto in the year 2010 started in freezing fog. Photo Collection of Finlandia-hiihto.

The event had to be cancelled in 2020 due to a lack of snow.