In the deep snow at the Campus meadows, students have gathered to decide who is the snowball war champion of the university. The speaker is counting down to fight: 30 seconds, 10 seconds, begin!

In Snow Wars, a yearly tradition at campus Umeå, arranged by Umeå Student Union, the goal is to capture each other’s flags or take out the other team with well-aimed snow balls. The “ammunition” is made before the fight, with the help of some electric heaters to make it possible to form the cold snow.

Snow balls are flying all over and the spectators standing around the field dodge the occasional “stray bullet”. An ice ball hits a student hard in the arm, she steps off the field while rubbing the arm, and the speaker reminds the students that it is only for fun.

The rounds are short but intense and in just a few minutes time one of the members from the Dinners team is running for his life with the other team’s flag in his hands.
– For me it was the first time having a snow ball war, so it gave me a disadvantage, says Keisuke Okura from the Dinners team.
– It was the first time for me as well, says Lukas Lackner from the same team.
– With rules! he adds and smiles.

The Rainbow League was the winning team in this year’s edition of Snow Wars. Their team flag, in the colours of the rainbow, was the last one left, waving in the light breeze.

Text and photo:
Benjamin Backlund