Hear Ann Bancroft on A Beautiful World

As Ann Bancroft travels to the White House to speak to the first-ever White House Arctic Science Ministerial about Arctic health and climate change, listen to her share her experiences on A Beautiful World…

“There at the top of the world, where all longitudes meet, I expected to feel isolated, but instead I felt connected to all humanity.”

Hear Ann on A Beautiful World.

Adventures in Allahabad, pt. 2

Education Challenge: Kanpur

This week’s education challenge will focus on topics in the city of Kanpur. Challenge: Where is your T-shirt made? How is it made? What is it made of? Where does it go when you don’t want to use it anymore? Are there other alternatives? How can you influence (production, consumption, etc)   Teaching resources:   […]

Safe water made possible by Water.org

Feature Friday: Water.org

Water.org: “It’s about more than water” For 25 years, Water.org has challenged the traditional approach to assisting people in developing countries and paved the way for developing solutions for the water crisis. Their vision is “the day when everyone in the world can take a safe drink of water.” Fast facts: Globally, women and children […]

City Background: Rishikesh

We are now in Rishikesh which is located in part of the Indian state Uttarakhand. At this point the Ganges emerges from the mountains and enters the Gangetic Plains.

Located in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India, Rishikesh is known as The Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas and Yoga Capital of the World. It is an old spiritual city, and houses the path to the four holy places of the upper Himalayas. Several holy temples can be found along the banks of the Ganges in Rishikesh. The whole town is considered to be sacred and it’s believed that meditation there leads to salvation.

The Ganga at Rishikesh

The Ganga at Rishikesh /Photo Credit: Richard A. Lois



City Highlight: Gomukh

Today we are traveling towards Gomukh! Gomukh is known as the terminus or snout of the Gangotri Glacier, and is a primary source of the River Ganges. This is where the river is in its purest form compliant with international standards.  Sitting at an elevation of 13,200 feet, it is located in the Uttarkashi district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. It is known a popular Hindu pilgrimage site, as well as a trekking destination.

The word Gomukh literally translates to “Mouth of a Cow” in reference to its resemblance of a cow’s mouth or snout. This thought originated from an ancient Hindu text called the Puranas. The text mentions a shepherd boy who is in search of his lost sheep. He reaches a glacier in Gangotri, where the snout looked exactly like the mouth of a cow, and thus got its name ‘Gomukh’.

Today the terminus of this glacier has been shrinking. The local ecosystem is in a state of over-exploitation and rapid deterioration. According to modern research the snout has moved 1 km in just 70 years.

Gomukh "Mouth of a Cow"

Gomukh “Mouth of a Cow”

Small Shrine at Gomukh

Small Shrine at Gomukh

Bancroft Arnesen Explore Launches First Access Water Expedition on Ganges River

MINNEAPOLIS – October 15, 2015 – Known around the world for their work in education and exploration, Bancroft Arnesen Explore (BAE is launching a seven-continent, multi-year expedition series this weekend in India. The first 55-day expedition will take place along the Ganges River in India where the eight women from six continents will trek over 1,500 miles along one of the most important and sacred water ways in the world to raise awareness, incite advocacy and ignite action for the global water crisis.
The expedition series, titled Access Water, will lead a conversation with millions of youth around the world to inspire the future leaders to demand a safe and abundant world, starting with access to clean water. After the 2015 Ganges expedition, the team plans to visit each continent every few years, ending the Access Water series with a journey to Antarctica.
“We chose the Ganges River to begin the Access Water series because the area represents a great example of a deep-rooted dependence on water to human existence,” explains Ann Bancroft, educator, explorer and team leader. “There is a critical need to educate students about the water crisis that not only affects overpopulated areas like India, but to connect the same problems to their own backyard.”
The team, led by Ann Bancroft of the United States and Liv Arnesen of Norway includes Olfat Haider of Haifa, Israel; Cindy Jiaojiao Hu of Beijing, China; Marcia Gutierrez of Temuco, Chile; Kim Smith of Cape Town, South Africa; Lisa te Heuheu of Turangi, New Zealand; and Krushnaa Patil of Mumbai, India.
Starting in Himalayan foothills near Gomukh on October 17, the team will travel along the Ganges over 55 days, passing through a variety of communities including Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi and Patna before concluding near Kolkata and Delhi in early December.
With education being the foundation for the team’s work, they will work with essential partner organizations like TERI, WAGGGS, UNESCO, Young Pioneers of China, Google and Tunheim, to explore the river to find how communities and organizations are working to demand cleaner water and inspiring others to do the same. The team hopes to show how the water and environmental issues along the Ganges River are similar to other places around the world and innovative solutions are vital to the future of this planet.
“We’re a group of female leaders, with a shared vision to create a better tomorrow by inspiring the future leaders to demand safe, clean water for everyone,” says Liv Arnesen, explorer, educator and team leader. “Whether you want to be an engineer, work on a farm or become a doctor, water touches each and every person’s life work and there’s a way to help make instrumental changes in the way we operate to create a better world in which we live, and that’s what the Access Water series hopes to accomplish.”
For more information about the Ganges expedition, the team, the Access Water Expedition Series or to follow the journey visit yourexpedition.com.


Media Contact:

Meghan Dolan

(952) 851-7268


Welcome to our new website

We have now relaunched the home of Bancroft Arnesen Explore with a new website, new logo and a new expedition.

If you had not noticed, things have changed a bit. A number of pages are still work in progress – come back frequently as more content about our activities and the coming expedition becomes available. Essential information about the 2011 expedition “In the footsteps of Amundsen, in the spirit of Nansen” is available immediately by accessing the 2011 Expedition link.

Our aim with this new site is to focus on the expedition team’s activities through blog entries, live news, picture galleries and videos. The site also incorporates social media features such as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. As this is just the start, more features are to come, including greater user interaction.

Many thanks to the team at Creuna, who has put volunteer time and creativity into developing the YourExpedition Blog’s visual identity.

Warm regards,

Ann Bancroft & Liv Arnesen / Bancroft Arnesen Explore

Current partners

The following is a list of organizations and institutions we have teamed up with for the coming expedition

Mountain Hardware

Innovation Norway

Grand Hotel, Norway

DLA Piper Norway

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Norwegian Ministry of Environment

The Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry


Åsnes Ski

Alfa Ski Boots

Noregn AS

X-lence Group AS

The Liv Arnesen Foundation

The Liv Arnesen Foundation is a non-profit organization, formed to increase awareness about the environment and the importance of cross-cultural communication. The Foundation aims at using international media publicity surrounding its expeditions to further promote its charitable interests.

As a former schoolteacher, Liv Arnesen was inspired by the work of polar explorer, scientist and humanist Fridtjof Nansen, to use her expeditions as a pedagogical tool in the transfer of knowledge to students around the world. The Liv Arnesen Foundation’s objective is to create an online portal for information and education, essentially, a global classroom. The portal will be an arena where children and youth on all continents can create a dialogue and shared understanding about the different themes the expeditions are promoting. This dialogue will take place via the Internet and social media.

In 2011, The Liv Arnesen Foundation in collaboration with Bancroft Arnesen Explore, launches its first such project, Global Classroom 2011. Marking the 100 years passing since Roald Amundsen was reached and discovered the South Pole, Bancroft Arnesen Explore will host an educational expedition in the footsteps of Amundsen, in the spirit of Nansen. Their vision is to reach 2 million classrooms with themes from the world’s next frontiers; ethics and climate.

The Liv Arnesen Foundation is a non-profit organization, governed by a board of directors.

Equipment on the ice

Equipment by the Sledge Load

For Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen, deciding what to pack for their 100-day journey was tough enough. But fitting their food, gear, health supplies and technological equipment in a sled that could weigh no more than 250 lbs (113 kg) was downright perplexing! The explorers were forced to get creative in order to pack the things they wanted. As an example, Ann decided to cut her toothbrush in half to reduce weight so she could bring a family photo.

Efficiency was also critical. Consider this: setting up camp each night in up to 100 mph (160 km) winds and blowing snow in under 15 minutes. To expedite this daily chore, Ann and Liv used ice stakes and ice screws to anchor themselves before they assemble their tent. They also selected a three-person pop-up tent (just big enough to live in and easy to set up) and use “rigged,” or easy to construct, gear.

Below is a list of some of the most important items on Ann and Liv’s packing checklist.

Equipment Checklist

• Camping gear: three-person tent, foam pads, sleeping bags and snow shovel.

• Cooking supplies: 17 to 28 gallons (60 to 100 liters) of white gas divided into several tanks, one-burner stove, cooker, spoon, storm matches, lighter, thermos, food and condiments.


• First aid equipment: antibiotics, pain killers, burn ointment, dressing strips, eye drops, sun cream, tape, sticking plaster and dental filling.

• Repair kit: Leatherman multi-tool, safety pins, glue, screws, tent and sail repair items including extra sail fabric, parachute cord, duct tape, needle, and thread and buckles.

• Navigation, safety and communications equipment: global positioning satellite (GPS) satellite navigation sets, photovoltaic solar collector, compasses, maps, EPIRB (Emergency Position Indication Rescue Beacon), an Apple G3 Powerbook, two-way radio, high-frequency radio, cameras (both digital and video), film and a satellite global text messaging unit.

• Skiing and sailing equipment: two sleds, four sails each, skis (pulling and sailing skis) and ski poles.

• Glacier equipment: instep crampons with four points, snow anchors and ice screws with climbing rope.

• Personal equipment: sun goggles with nose protector, face mask, combination watch/barometer, diary, books, tooth brush and a Swiss army knife.

Health on the ice

Healthy and Prepared

Let’s Get Physical

Imagine skiing 2,400 miles (3,850 km) across the icy peaks and valleys of a vast, frozen continent while pulling a 250-pound (113-kg) sled in temperatures averaging -30 degrees Fahrenheit (-34 degrees Celsius). This isn’t your typical workout.

Not surprisingly, preparing for such an unusual adventure requires an intense training regime — up to six hours a day — that is quite frankly, a little odd. Rather than spending countless hours in a gym pumping iron, Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen trained every day by doing things they like to do that build strength, endurance and utilize a full range of body movements — among them, pulling car tires. Here’s a sample of some of their training activities:

• In warm weather, Ann and Liv challenged the outdoors by running, hiking, mountain biking and kayaking. During the cooler months, the time of year Ann and Liv like best, the duo cross-country skied and windsailed while pulling weighted sleds over snow.

• Leaving the rowing machine and weightlifting devices behind, Ann and Liv pulled three car tires harnessed to their waists against the resistance of a gravel road. This activity helped them simulate pulling 250-pounds (113-kg) sleds over gritty, rough Antarctic terrain and built leg and back muscles.

•To prepare for the long winters in Norway and Minnesota, Ann and Liv “pumped wood” by chopping it. (Ann pushed the limit by hauling the wood in a makeshift sled.) This helped the team build leg and arm strength needed for wind sailing, skiing, setting-up the tent and crevasse rescue. (Also completes a pesky chore!)

• Kitty litter in a backpack added the necessary resistance while running up and down steep bluffs to simulate pulling heavy sleds.

Go Team!

Living half a world apart, Ann and Liv were forced to do most of their pre-expedition training on their own. However, they took several joint training trips in Finse, Norway and Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada, where they practiced skiing and pulling their 250-pound (113-kg) sleds, windsailing and rescue techniques.

They also tested the durability and reliability of their equipment — such as their tent, sleeping bags, cooking gear, radio and computers — in harsh Antarctic-like conditions.

Mind Games

When crossing Antarctica, mental stress can sometimes be worse than physical pain. Therefore, the team had to be in top mental condition to prepare for crossing a vast landscape of whiteness. In addition to pulling tires for hours over a gravel road — a slow, sluggish activity — Ann and Liv jogged on railroad tracks to “practice” concentration. They also trained alone to get used to less human contact and other interruptions to prepare for the trek’s natural solitude.

Medical Treatments

Besides being physically conditioned and prepared before taking off, Ann and Liv knew how to handle medical emergencies which could arise.

Pfizer supplied Liv and Ann with a medical kits and Ann took training at a Minneapolis hospital on how to handle medical emergencies and issues which may arise on the ice.

These medical issues range from hypothermia to altitude sickness to open wounds to protection from the sun.

Ann and Liv took hypothermia very seriously and safeguarded against it as well as they could with their clothing choices and food choices.

Ann and Liv went to great lengths to achieve and maintain optimum health. Their very survival depended on it. They could not take their health for granted, so they were knowledgeable about all aspects of their physical condition.

As women in mid-life, Ann and Liv have a lot to offer about living healthy lives. Perhaps one of their greatest lessons is that, regardless of age, women can continue to set and achieve goals that require physical and mental stamina. Pfizer partnered with Ann and Liv to help them ensure a healthy and successful Expedition.

What We Know!

How do Ann and Liv Clean Up?

They use moist towelettes to wash their faces and a few parts of their bodies.

How do They go to the Bathroom?

Ann and Liv “squat” quickly and with careful judgment of the wind.

How Often do They Change Their Underwear?

Once a month

Do They Ever Wash Their Hair?

When they are at home yes, but during the expedition — no.

Technology on the ice

Ann and Liv used a variety of technologies to assist them in their effort to cross Antarctica.

The technology that the two explorers used falls under three general categories.

Click on a technology category to find out how Liv and Ann used technology during these Expedition.

* Communication

* Navigation

* Computing


Ann and Liv used two different communications devices while on the ice.

The Explorers used a global satellite communicator to send text messages in the form of email to their support crew at yourexpedition in Minneapolis, MN.

The second type of communication devices employed by Liv and Ann were small handheld radios called Talkabouts which allowed them to communicate with each other as they skied and sailed across Antarctica. These two-way radios were particularily important to the explorers during the times when they were sailing, when they may get as far as one mile apart. The radios helped them keep tabs on each other


Liv and Ann charted their daily course and progress using handheld GPS receivers. Using a constellation of 24 satellites, the GPS system provided them with accurate position information as they traveled.

For more specific information about GPS,

Click here


Ann and Liv used a laptop computer for a variety of purposes, ranging from daily journal entries to digital image and video processing.

Emergency Power

Ann Tests an iPower™

Generator in South Africa

Prior to Departing for

Antarctica Continuum Control Corporation’s iPower™ Generator, the official emergency power system for the Expedition, is a unique, state-of-the-art power source for a variety of portable electronic devices. Employing Continuum’s patented piezoelectric technology, this hand-held device transforms mechanical energy, which is generated by turning a handle on the device, into electrical energy to provide power to the two-way radios that Ann and Liv used to maintain communications with each other. The Generator provides the advantage of guaranteeing power for a portable electronic device in any location, since power from the user is all that’s required to produce energy. Thus it’s the perfect solution for providing energy to any hand-held electronic device, including cell phones, GPS units and radios.

Clothes on the ice

Outfitted for Success!

The demands of physical exertion, below freezing temperatures and extreme wind gusts are enough to stretch the limits of any high-tech fabrics. And while Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen were not attempting to make a fashion statement while on the ice, they needed to be outfitted for success.

Head to Toe Coverage

While skiing across Antarctica, Ann and Liv wore layers of clothes covering every inch of their bodies. On their lower halves, Ann and Liv wore duffle socks (matted wool inserts that fit in boots to warm their feet), oversized ski boots, a few layers of long johns, wind pants and “gaiters,” a protective cloth over their legs to act as a barrier against the snow and to add warmth.

Ann and Liv’s upper bodies were covered by wind jackets, down vests, pile shirts, wool hats with ear flaps, an ear band, ski ear covers, heavy gloves and glacier goggles.

Additionally, Ann and Liv were very careful of the sun’s harmful rays in Antarctica because the hole in the ozone is above Antarctica. They wore 45 level sunblock 24 hours a day. Also the glacier goggles contain extra dark lenses to protect their eyes from the sun.

Boots with crampons Windsailing Gear

While windsailing, Ann and Liv wore mittens instead of gloves, an extra down vest, another layer of wind clothes, and an extra jacket to protect themselves from intense winds.

Ann and Liv sailing in Norway on a training trip.

Time Out

Ann and Liv needed to stop regularly for breaks to refuel their bodies with high-calorie, energy-packed foods. During these time outs, they sometimes wore a down parka on top of their regular skiing gear.

Tent Couture

Once they settled in their tent after a long day of skiing, Ann and Liv removed their wind gear and put on the following: fleece jacket, fleece pants, light gloves, one hat (instead of several), down booties and a balaclava (a piece of clothing worn while sleeping that covers the whole head and neck with an opening). While working inside the tent and preparing dinner, Ann and Liv sat in their sleeping bags for added warmth.

Food on the ice

How Much of What is Enough?

Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen were the master chefs at their own “Antarctic Diner” — where winds blew at 100 mph (160 km per hour), temperatures were cooler than a refrigerator’s freezer and melting ice to its liquid state was a daily chore.

To maintain high energy levels and keep warm, Ann and Liv ate and drank foods that were high in nutrients, calories and fat. The combination of extreme cold and 12 to 16 hours of skiing each day required each woman to eat between 4,500 and 5,000 calories in a 24-hour period. (An averaged-sized woman should eat 1,500 to 2,000 calories per day, while the average man should eat 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day.)

Bancroft Arnesen Gourmet Menu


• Hot cereal – fortified with an oil or butter

•Hot drinks – including coffee and cocoa fortified with a high-fat cream.

• Multi – vitamin high in calcium (Ann and Liv are middle aged. Like all women of their age, they need to be cognizant of getting enough calcium – sounds yummy!)

Lunch • Ann and Liv did not eat lunch. They snacked throughout the day at one – hour intervals.


• Chocolate bars

• Caramels

• Sports drink with lots of calories and electrolytes designed to replenish fatigued muscles.

• Assorted nuts with dried fruit.

Dinner (after skiing or pulling they will set up camp and start melting snow for their dinner)

• After getting the snow melting, Ann and Liv started with potato chips, a good source of fat, calories and salt. They followed with a cup of soup to warm up.

• Freeze – dried food fortified with fat. The freeze – dried meals were provided by Real Turmat®, a Norwegian food company. Flavors included cod stew with sour cream, beef and potato stew, pasta bolognese.

• Hot drinks included mint tea and hot chocolate.

*No drinks with caffeine during the night because it is a diuretic (makes you urinate a lot) and it decreases the blood flow to their hands and feet thus having the potential for them to be chilled or frostbitten. They protect themselves from frost bite with the clothes they wear.

Daily Treats

• Ann likes Coffee Nips®

• Liv likes licorice

Weekly Treats • A high – fat, very dense cake

Food Prep — In a Cramped Cloth “Kitchen”

Ann and Liv prepared all of their food and drinks by heating it over a one-burner stove in their tent. It took four hours to melt enough ice for one day and prepare water for two. Once the ice was melted, the water was kept in specially insulated thermoses so it did not freeze. Throughout the day, Ann and Liv added water to powdered beverages and most of their food, 80 percent of which is dehydrated. Ann and Liv used white gas — a type of fuel that burns at high altitudes and all temperatures — in their stove. They too 17 to 28 gallons (60 to 100 liters) of white gas.

What We Know!

Why was it important that we ate so much fat?

Ann and Liv ate about 4500 calories each day. Forty-five percent (45%) of their calories came from fat. High-fat intake is important because they pulled sleds that weighed about 250 lbs. (113kgs) for between 8 and 14 hours a day and were exposed to temperatures that dropped as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit without the wind chill factor. Together the two factors cause human bodies to burn a lot of calories to power itself and to keep itself warm. They had to keep replenishing their fat stores so they did not burn muscle. Both explorers gained approximately 15 extra pounds before they went on the Expedition to increase their fat reserves. Shouldn’t we all be so lucky.

Why did they consume so much liquid?

Liquids were important to decrease the risk of hypothermia.

Antarctica is more arid than the Sahara and quickly whisks moisture away from the human body. To avoid dehydration, which can ultimately lead to frostbite, it was very important for Ann and Liv to drink plenty of water. Each woman consumed two, two-and-a-half-quart (five pints) thermoses of hot liquids daily while skiing.

Did Ann and Liv get cravings for certain foods?

As Ann and Liv have aged, their cravings for certain food items have decreased. Neither can explain why this happened. One thing they both craved, however, is fat. This was probably a result of their bodies telling them they were burning their own body fat at a high rate, and if they did not eat enough, their body would begin to burn muscle tissue. Burning muscle is bad because muscles provide the body with power. Burning muscle cuts into the body’s source of strength.

How did Ann and Liv select the types of food they took on the Expedition?

Ann and Liv worked hard to choose the foods to take to Antarctica. They tried many different brands of freeze-dried foods and snacks. They finally settled on their menu based on how the food tasted, how easily it packed and its weight. They selected food with very little packaging because they are very concerned about the environment, and because they packed out all garbage.

Who is the better cook, Ann or Liv?

Both explorers are in agreement that Ann is the better cook. According to Liv’s family, she knows how to prepare only three dishes, and all three are pasta dishes (shrimp pasta, lasagna, and cheese pasta). However, Ann and Liv shared cooking duties on their Expedition. Very little preparation was involved with the meals they selected. All they needed to do was boil water and pour the water into the pouches of freeze-dried food or into their vacuum bottles.

Didl Ann and Liv carry extra food?

In case Ann and Liv were unable to pull their sleds for a period of days due to bad weather or injury, they carried enough food for ten extra days. They received one resupply of food at the South Pole.

Ann and Liv Extras!

Facts About Foods

• Menu Choice/Calorie Chart

Gorp Recipes

• Great outdoor mix for hiking

• Fun for kids to make

Finse, Norway

Where is Finse, Norway???

For the past year and a half Ann and Liv have been using the area around Finse, Norway for their training grounds…but where the heck is it?

Finse is the name of the highest railway station on the railway line connecting Bergen and Oslo.

Finse isn’t a city – it’s made up of one hotel, the railway station and a number of surrounding buildings.

The railway station is located on the highland plateau named Hardangervidda .

This huge mountain area divides Norway into the western and eastern part, and it contains several different mountain ridges and peaks of great interest for both skiers and hikers.

Yes, Finse does look familiar…

If the terrain in these small photos looks strangely familiar, you may be seeing it for a second time.

Finse was the location used for the filming of the Ice Planet Hoth sequences of Star Wars Episode IV, The Empire Strikes Back.

So… Where Do Liv and Ann Stay?

Liv and Ann have had all their stays at the hotel Finse 1222 (1222 = meters above sea level). If you are inclined to travel to this area take a look at their website, http://www.finse1222.no

Quotes and testimonials

What Liv and Ann are saying:

“When some people hit a wall, they go into a depression. I change the focus; I think I can do it another way. If you don’t try, you can never go forward.”

Liv Arnesen, Oprah Magazine, September 2001 on what keeps powerhouses going…

“A life lesson for me is, how do you muster the courage to take on a new risk?”… “Whether it’s starting up a business or taking on a new project or expedition.”

Ann Bancroft, Los Angeles Times, Sunday, May 6, 2001

What people are saying about Liv and Ann:

Liv Arnesen held an excellent and outstanding speech at the Confex conference “Alle Tiders Kvinner” November 30 2001 in Oslo, Norway. 1300 delegates gave Liv the best evaluation and the highest score out of 8 top speakers. “I highly recommend Liv as a professional speaker, giving the listener motivation and inspiration to seek and achieve new goals.” – Cato Andresen, Founding Partner, Confex Kompetanse AS, Norway

“I want to thank you for your tremendous presentation”…”Your inspirational and motivating messages in the context of your polar expeditions clearly set the tone for our entire annual meeting. Throughout the week I was repeatedly thanked for inviting you to our meeting as so many people found your message encouraging and indeed very relevant to our profession… Your message of setting goals, recognizing and celebrating successes, and taking risk relative to the risk taker clearly resonated with my colleagues.” – S. Gunderson, President, AOPO

“I have never before experienced a speaker (Ann) that could address such a large audience but leave you feeling like she had just spent an hour in your living room sharing.” –Mark A. Brockmeyer, Past President, Iowa Academy of Science

“Your presentation was simply the perfect way to wrap up our general session… I was delighted to hear consistently, very positive comments about your remarks throughout the rest of the Conference.” – J. Mueller, Director, Northwest Airlines

“Ann Bancroft is a modern day pioneer who has been shattering stereotypes about females for decades.” – Mary Jo Kane, Director, Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport

In the Wall Street Journal Michael Eisner was quoted as saying in an e-mail to employees: “Like the two skiers who are crossing Antarctica, we have to keep adjusting our strategies as conditions keep changing so that we can reach our ultimate goal of success and profitability…”

Liv's teachings

Liv (pronounced ‘leave’) Arnesen is a highly sought-after motivational speaker among corporations, schools and non-profit organizations. Through her diverse roles as a polar explorer, educator and motivational leader, Liv ignites passion in others to reach beyond their normal boundaries and achieve their dreams by sharing her own stories about exploring some of the most remote places on earth. Liv will share her lessons from making history with Ann Bancroft as the first women to ski across Antarctica’s landmass a 94-day, 1,717-mile trek or her first expedition to Antarctica, on which she made international headlines by being the first woman to ski solo and unsupported – a 50-day, 745 (1,200km) to the South Pole. Liv also has fascinating lectures on climbing but not making the summit of Mount Everest, crossing the Greenland Ice Cap, and can also focus on career development. She motivates with topics of teamwork, passion and leadership and captivates audiences with her wit, her expertise and her adventures.

As an educator, polar explorer, and outdoor adventurer, Liv has a vast knowledge in leadership, self-management, teamwork, dealing with constantly changing conditions and adapting these messages to the workplace. Liv’s expeditions have been featured by the BBC, CNN, and National Public Radio. Liv also has been featured in national print publications, such as People, USA Today, Ladies Home Journal, Glamour, Current Biography Magazine, Outside, Sports Illustrated for Women, O, the Oprah Magazine, and Time for Kids, as well as more than 50 international newspapers and magazines in Japan, Russia, Scandinavia, Germany, England, Australia, Italy and Chile. Liv is an internationally recognized leader and role model for women and girls. The Bancroft Arnesen Expedition (2001) engaged over 3 million students in 46 countries.

Liv Arnesen

Liv (pronounced ´leave´) Arnesen´s rich life experiences, both on and off the ice, have made her an internationally recognized leader and role model for women and girls. A self-proclaimed´keen´ but not fanatical outdoors enthusiast, Arnesen is most interested in the development of adults and children. Through her diverse roles as a polar explorer, educator and motivational leader, Arnesen ignites passion in others to reach beyond their normal boundaries and achieve their dreams by sharing her own stories about exploring some of the most remote places on earth.

Arnesen is a highly sought-after motivational speaker among corporations, schools and non-profit organizations. She has been named among Glamour magazine ´ s “Women of the Year” (2001); selected for the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame´s “Trailblazer” award (2001); presented with the Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce “Achievement Award” (2001); and recognized by the Russian Geographic Society with a ” Diploma of Honor” (1999).

Major Accomplishments

– February 2001 – Arnesen and American polar explorer Ann Bancroft become the first women in history to sail and ski across Antarctica ´ s landmass – completing a 94-day, 1,717-mile (2,747 km) trek.

– 1996 – Arnesen climbs the north side of Mount Everest, getting to within 6,200 ft (1,900 m) of the summit before altitude sickness forces her to descend.

– 1994 – Arnesen makes international headlines by becoming the first woman in the world to ski solo and unsupported to the South Pole – a 50-day expedition of 745 miles (1,200 km).

– 1992 – Arnesen leads the first unsupported women ´ s crossing of the Greenland Ice Cap.


Arnesen was born in 1953 in Bærum, Norway on the outskirts of Oslo where at an early age, her parents immersed her in their passions: cross-country skiing and polar history. Her love of athletics and the outdoors eventually led Arnesen to compete in orienteering and cross-country skiing, as well as to coach high school students in advanced-level cross-country skiing.

After her South Pole trek in 1994, Arnesen founded her own company, “White Horizons,” which provides motivational lectures and team-building programs to kids and adults.

She is author of, Snille piker går ikke til Sydpolen (Nice Girls do not Ski to the South Pole), which is about her 1994 expedition. She also recently authored a management book with Norwegian Jon Gangdal, Kan Jeg fra drøm til virkelighet (Can I do it? From Dream to Reality). Beyond exploration, Arnesen has taught and coached high school and college students for more than 20 years and is involved in the rehabilitation of drug abusers. She holds degrees in Norwegian language and literature, history, sports and counseling.

Arnesen spends many of her summer holidays in the Arctic at Svalbard (Spitsbergen) as a tour guide for Svalbard Polar Travel – a company for which she worked as marketing director prior to her 1994 South Pole expedition. Arnesen also enjoys hiking, kayaking and bicycling and is an insatiable reader.

Since the Bancroft Arnesen Expedition, Arnesen and Bancroft´s inspirational story has helped spark Bancroft Arnesen Explore, designed to share Ann and Liv´s stories with audiences around the globe through multi-media presentations, short films, workshops, curricula andlectures as a way to motivate people to reach for their own dreams, particularly women and girls.

Arnesen´ s expeditions have been featured by the BBC, CNN, CTV, National Public Radio, NBC Nightly News and NBC´s Today Show. She also has been featured in national print publications, such as People, USA Today, New York Times, Ladies Home Journal, Glamour, Current Biography Magazine, Outside, Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated for Women, O, the Oprah Magazine, and Time for Kids, as well as more than 50 international newspapers and magazines in Japan, Russia, Scandinavia, Germany, England, Australia, Italy and Chile.

Arnesen currently lives in Oslo, Norway.

Ann's teachings

As the first woman to cross the ice to both the North and South Poles, Ann Bancroft leads audiences of all ages on a variety of historic journeys with interpersonal stories of leadership and adventure combined with historic film and still imagery. Whether Ann is sharing stories from the recent Bancroft Arnesen Expedition – a 1,717 mile journey on foot to become the first women to cross the continent of Antarctica (2001), she translates her challenges and accomplishments to everyday life and empowers each person to work individually or as a team to reach their goals.

In her 17 years of speaking, Ann has experienced the power that sharing her stories can create. Ann and Liv´s Antarctic expedition helped shape Bancroft Arnesen Explore, designed to share Ann and Liv´s stories with audiences around the globe through multi-media presentations, short films, workshops, curricula andlectures as a way to motivate people to reach for their own dreams, particularly women and girls. Bancroft Arnesen Explore recently launched No Horizon Is So Far, which Ann and Liv co-authored with Cheryl Dahle, telling the story of Ann and Liv´s crossing of Antarctica.

Having made the transition from educator to polar explorer and expedition leader, Ann is expert in understanding the shifting dynamics of a team, leadership and personal growth, perseverance and adapting to adverse, changing conditions which relate so closely with challenges of daily life.

The tenacity and courage that define her character have earned Bancroft worldwide recognition as one of today´s most influential role models. Ann has been named among Glamour magazine´s “Women of the Year” (2001); featured in the book Remarkable Women of the Twentieth Century (1998); inducted into the National Women´s Hall of Fame (1995); named Ms. magazine´s &quote;Woman of the Year&quote; (1987); and honored with numerous other awards for her accomplishments.

Bancroft also founded and leads the Ann Bancroft Foundation, a non-profit that has programs that celebrate and ignite the potential in adolescent girls in Minnesota.

An internationally known speaker, Bancroft´s expeditions have been followed by BBC, CNN, National Public Radio, NBC Nightly News and NBC´s Today show. She also has been featured in Time, People, USA Today, Ms., McCall´s, Ladies Home Journal, Vogue, Good Housekeeping, Glamour, Health, National Geographic, Outside, Sports Illustrated, O, the Oprah Magazine, and Working Mother.

Bancroft lives outside of Minneapolis in Scandia, Minn. and is 50.

Ann in her own words

When I was about 12 years old I found a book on my parents book shelf. The name of the book was Endurance by Alfred Lansing. What drew me to the pages of an adult book as a poor reader was the photographs. I was so fascinated by the images that I no longer was intimidated by the words and thickness of the book. I wanted to know about this adventure at the bottom of the world. This began my curiosity with Antarctica and the dream of one day crossing it.

My motivation often comes from the students and people that follow the adventure. On my last expedition to Antarctica, thoughts of kids all over the nation following us inspired me on tough days to stay at it. I know this will be a strong force on this upcoming crossing. I am also living my dream and doing what I feel I was meant to do. It is totally energizing to step out each day living a dream.

Liv in her own words

Since I was a kid and went with my parents and brother on winter and Easter holidays in the Norwegian mountains; I have loved the open white landscape, the changing weather and light. My longing for Antarctica started for real when I started to read books about the old explorers like Amundsen, Shackleton and Mawson. There was something much, much more alluring than the Norwegian mountains down under.

My motivation for going back is mixed. I still have this longing for the great wide open spaces, but after my last expedition I also learned from numbers of lectures in schools what a privilege it was to have a story to tell about a fulfillment of a dream. Our upcoming expedition with the infrastructure around it can give this message to thousands of kids and adults that believing in your dream will make your life into an adventure. And it’s not about Antarctica, but being faithful to yourself.

I still read books about the old dead explorers, but today I’m more inspired by ordinary people that take control over their own life even if they have had a lot of odds against it.

Universally I believe we all have something to learn from Dalai Lama that says: “Kindness is my religion.”

How they met

A tale of two worlds, two women, one dream …

Despite living worlds apart, Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen have shared the same dream — to ski across Antarctica – since they were young girls. At age 12, they both read about legendary Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and vowed to follow in his footsteps.

As they grew older, Ann and Liv’s lives grew remarkably similar. They both became teachers — Ann, an elementary school teacher in Minnesota, Liv a high school teacher in Olso. They each led world-famous expeditions to the South Pole — Ann in 1993, Liv in 1994.

Their paths crossed for the first time in 1998. While Ann & Liv knew of one another (the polar explorer community is very small), they had not met. Ann was looking for a partner to accompany her across Antarctica and she was an admirer of Liv’s. So she made contact with Liv to find out if Liv was interested. They talked about their dream, their hero, their South Pole adventures and their passion for teaching. Ann & Liv had so much in common, they joked that they were “soul sisters.”

What came of the conversation was The Bancroft Arnesen Expedition!

About Bancroft Arnesen Explore

Bancroft Arnesen Explore is a cooperative between Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen who’s shared mission is to inspire people, particularly women and girls, to follow their dreams. Ann and Liv are dedicated to sharing stories of their journeys, such as their historic Antarctic crossing during 2000/2001, as a way to ignite people to find their own dreams and passions. As former school teachers, Liv and Ann are dedicated to creating inspiring education programs such as the Dare to Dream and their Antarctic curriculum. Their 1,717 mile journey across Antarctica pulling 250 pound sleds took 97 days and sparked the imagination of over 3 million schoolchildren around the globe as they followed along in the news and on their website.

Kim Smith

Kim Smith resides in Cape Town, South Africa and is pursuing a Masters degree in Developmental Studies. With her university, Kim has had the opportunity to travel extensively and has begun a global dialogue that has further solidified her dedication to community development. “The ideas and views of friends from all over the world further ignited my passion for wanting to be an instrument of change.”

Kim works with various non-profitable projects in townships such as Khayelitsha and Bonteheuwel in Cape Town addressing the changes her country faces as a means to promote collaboration and cooperation with one another in an effort to achieve great things.

“I am an ordinary person from a small community in Cape Town, but my ability to dream and to dream big has never failed me.” Read more

Bachendri Pal

Bachendri Pal is Chief Adventure Programmes at Tata Steel Ltd. in India and a nationally honored expedition leader.  Bachendri’s accomplishments in mountaineering are an inspiration to audiences of all ages particularly empowering to women. Bachendri shares the stories of her Everest expedition as a platform to encourage others to also realize adventure and enterprise in their lives and to reach for their “own Everest.” Read more

Irina Kuznetsova

Irina Mihailovna Kuznetsova is Vice President of Metelitsa Sports Expedition and Scientific Research Centre, an organization that has organized ski expeditions to the North and South Poles, across several extremely difficult research routes beyond the Polar Circle in Russia and in other Polar regions. Irina’s expertise as a world recognized explorer, photo journalist and expedition organizer lends to her unique perspective as a key leader of the organization. Read more

Lisa Kanawa

Lisa Kanawa is a Senior Advisor on Maori Strategy with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in New Zealand. Dedicated to sustainable development, Lisa is in a unique position to engagee indigineous people in national issues pertaining to natural resources and climate change to raise their development and economic potential. Lisa enjoys the diversity of the communities she works with and also the diversity of the aspirations. Read more