Hearts in The Ice: A Live Chat With the First Two Women to Ever Spend a Winter in Svalbard

If you picked up the Fall/Winter issue of Mountain Life , you likely got to read the ‘Hearts in the Ice” piece by Ben Haggar on two brave women spending plenty of time in the Arctic (if you haven’t, it’s an absolute must read—order your copy today) Now, the women behind the story are going live on Wednesday, May 6. Get all the details below, as well as the live feed, and don’t forget to tune in! —ML

From the Whistler Youth Centre, LUNA, and Whistler Public Library:

Join us on May 6 to meet Polar Ambassadors and Project Founders of Hearts in the ice, Hilde Falun Strom and Sunniva Sorby. Hilde and Sunniva will join in their first “live” video call with the Sea to Sky community after close to nine months of self-imposed isolation to study climate change.

They have been based at a remote trappers cabin called Bamsebu without running water and electricity in the high Arctic of Svalbard. Their entire mission has been education and active engagement around climate change issues that impact every single species on earth. For over 25 years, their hearts and livelihoods have been focused on the Arctic and Antarctic.

Think you could handle three months of darkness?

They have just made history as the first female-only team to overwinter on Svalbard and have endured over three months of complete darkness known as the Polar Night. They have been actively collecting data and conducting research for a group of international scientists that include the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, NASA, UNIS and Norsk Polar Institute.

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To submit a question for the speakers, visit https://www.sli.do/ and use the event code Svalbard.

Enjoy the live stream the link below:


About the Speakers

Hilde Fålun Strøm – Svalbard, Norway

Ever since she was little Hilde Fålun Strøm was fascinated by the early trappers and their stories of survival, their daily struggle, and the simple life they lived. Having moved to Svalbard over 23 years ago, her experiences have ranged from hunting to dogsledding, months at remote huts, ski expeditions and well over 200 polar bear encounters.

Role models like Wanny Wolstad and Helfrid Nøis have inspired Hilde. However, to this day, no woman has overwintered in Svalbard without a man.

The dream of overwintering for 9 months in a historic trapper’s cabin called “Bamsebu” has been growing inside Hilde’s heart for many years. The magical Arctic light which changes from season to season, the unique wildlife and the raw nature of Svalbard have captivated Hilde.

These are the some of reasons for her desire to experience all of the seasons in a remote place on Svalbard – far, far away from distractions.

Sunniva Sorby – B.C, Canada

Hilde’s polar opposite with deep expertise in Antarctica, Sunniva Sorby was invited to join her at Bamsebu. An experienced expeditioner, Sunniva has skied across the Greenland icecap, across King George Island, Antarctica, across Antarctica to the South Pole and has spent 23 years working in Antarctica as a guide and historian.

Both women are over 50 and want to make a difference in how people engage with the natural world. Gone are the days when we can keep taking; now is the time to give to our planet. Give our energy, our time, our knowledge, and our love of the natural places.

Hearts In The Ice is a platform for enthusiasm and positive energy around the negative impact of climate change.

We want to inspire and motivate by being real-time modern day adventurers living as simply as possible with the most advanced prototypes for alternative energy, materials we source and the clothing we wear.