Aa Aa This year, Sunniva Sorby and Hilde Fålun Strøm became the first women to overwinter in the remote Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard without men. 140 kilometres away from their nearest neighbours, the pair spent the entirety of winter and several months beyond in a 20 square meter cabin without running water or electricity. After setting off in September of last year, the original plan was for them to return home in May – having spent nine months in the Arctic. But as it became clear how serious the COVID-19 pandemic was turning out to be, things rapidly changed. Their only updates from the chaos of the outside world came via their social media team. “It might be akin to going to the moon with just one other person,” they tell me. Travel restrictions meant the ship carrying friends, family and their science partners would not be able to collect them, meaning they would have to stay a full year until September. The pair with their dog in the snow. “You are cut off from life as you knew it. You leave a world where mediocrity is tolerated and you go to one where you are needing to show […]

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