If this year's Tartu Ski Marathon is canceled, a walking tour is going to be organized instead, marking the 60th anniversary of the event.
While artificial snow can be produced in the current cold snap, and indeed is for the Biathlon European Championships, the period is not likely to be long enough to produce enough even for the "plan C" option at the T ehvandi Sport Center just outside the South Estonian town of Otepää, and site of the European championships at the end of the month.
A less likely forecast would see a drastic change in weather, with heavy snowfall coinciding with marathon week (the event is on February 16).
It is too early to say now whether this will happen, but organizers say that they will make a decision by February 11 at the latest.
This year's event would be the 47th of its kind, but the competition is celebrating its 60th anniversary – cancellations, again partly due to lack of snow, account for the discrepancy in fixtures.
To mark the anniversary, two walking tours of 26 kilometers and 17 kilometers would start at Otepääa and finish at nearby Kääriku, taking hikers along Lake Pühajärv and following some sections of the actual ski trail.
These tours are also yet to be finalized.
Those who have already registered for the marathon can take part free, though still need to re-register. Non-skiers can also reportedly take part, again by registering here.
The first ever Tartu Ski Marathon took place on January 16 1960.
Editor: Andrew Whyte