Liv Arnesen

Norwegian Lecturer, Educator and Explorer

Famous for leading the first unsupported women’s crossing of the Greenland Ice Cap, followed by becoming the first woman to ski solo to the South Pole (a 50-day expedition) Liv Arnesen is no stranger to adventure. She 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.

Liv is renowned for her escapades both on and off the ice and have made her an internationally recognized personality. An outdoors enthusiast, she draws parallels to educate adults and children between her diverse roles as a polar explorer, educator and motivational leader. 

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).


Arnesen was born in 1953 in Bærum, Norway on the outskirts of Oslo where she followed her passions: cross-country skiing and polar history. She competed in orienteering and cross-country skiing, coached high school students in advanced-level cross-country skiing.

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 has authored a management book with Norwegian Jon Gangdal, Kan Jeg? fra drøm til virkelighet (Can I do it? From Dream to Reality) and recently authored a kids book «Sydpolen».

She holds degrees in Norwegian language and literature, history, sports and counseling and a Master of Management.

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 lives in the outskirts of Oslo, Norway.