Wanny Woldstad

First Female Arctic Trapper in Svalbard, Norway


"In two-three days I was converted from a taxi-driver in Tromsø to a female trapper on the way to Svalbard aboard Maiblomsten."



Norwegian Wanny Wolstad garners a well-deserved spot on our list as the first female Arctic trapper. But this intrepid woman was ahead of her time off the ice as well—before heading far north she was the first female taxi driver in Northern Norway. While driving her cab around Tromsø in the 1920s she would often pick up trappers along her route and deliver them to the Mack Brewery Bar where they were eager to spend some of their profits earned hunting polar bear in Svalbard.


Wanny was captivated by their stories of life in the icy wilderness. So it didn’t take much convincing when Anders Sæterdal, one of those trappers home from Svalbard on summer leave, persuaded her to take a leap and join him for a life of solitude and adventure. Though she was a mother to two teenage sons (and twice widowed), Wanny jumped at the opportunity. She ended up spending no less than five consecutive seasons as Anders’ trapping partner in Hyttevika at Hornsund.


Here are a few more reasons why we celebrate this fearless taxi-driver turned trapper:



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