The Extraordinary Politics of Moving an Actual Mountain
Norway is pondering an unusual birthday gift for Finland: an Arctic mountain peak. Mount Halti is the highest mountain in Finland, but its 4,478-foot summit is in Norway. To help commemorate the 100th anniversary of Finland’s declaration of independence from Russia on December 6, 1917, a group of Norwegians—led by retired geophysicist Bjørn Geirr Harsson—is urging the government to move a point on its border with Finland some 490 feet to the north and 650 feet to the east. Halti’s peak would then become the highest point in Finland, surpassing a spur of the mountain that tops out at 4,344 feet.
Considering the tumultuous history of international boundaries—and the current discussion in this country about building a wall between ourselves and one of our neighbors—this would be an unprecedented show of kindness between nations. (And much better than cake or a watch.)
But how exactly does one give away a mountain? We recently traveled to Norway to find out.