Published 2nd of march 2022, last updated 20th of october 2022
Name: Even Leivestad Sverdrup
IG Name: @evensverdrup
Even is a naturally happy and excitement seeking adventurer with a love of big expeditions, varied outdoor activities and plenty of positive energy!
He has hiked across Alaska, crossed Greenland in a modified Jeep, challenged nature forces in Svalbard and climbed Aconcagua alone.
Between these big expeditions, one can find Even paddling in Akerselva in the middle of winter, snowshoeing in powder snow with a heavy bag, hanging with ice axes on a frozen waterfall or skiing uncontrollably down a steep
mountainside in Jotunheimen.
Hi Even, where in the world are you?
Hey ALFA! My basecamp is in Heggedal (Asker), but if it’s the weekend,
you’ll find me in the mountains.
How would you describe yourself?
I’m an adventure-hungry family dad, who loves to dream big and live
those dreams. Life goes fast and one has to actively work to enjoy life. Therefore,
I would describe myself as both a hard worker and a life lover.
How would your friends describe you?
I think many people would say I go ‘all-in’ to things, and sometimes
it can be too much. Others would also say (correctly) that I’m a time optimist
and believe that no task is too big, and that I often have an unrealistic
expectation of how long something will take.
Who is your role model?
I am very inspired by our polar heroes who explored the world’s most
challenging environments in multi-yearlong expeditions in the Artic and
Antarctica. To lead one person, is difficult. Fridtjof Nansen and Hjalmar
Johansen’s over-wintering on Frans Josef Land in 1895-1986 was perhaps one of
the most extreme things they did. Roald Amundsen’s achievements in the north and
south. Otherwise I’m the proud bearer of the Sverdrup name and look up to Otto
Sverdrup, the captain of the polar ship Fram and his first crossing of
Greenland together with Nansen, Kristiansen, Dietrichson, Balto and Ravna.
Apart from that, I let myself be inspired by current adventurers too. Especially
those who dare to think outside the box.
A lot of good old rock, punk rock and hip-hop. Carving down a
mountainside with Limp Bizkit or Millencolin in my ears is always superb.
Otherwise I have a guilty pleasure for Joik!
That’s what’s great about outdoor life – it’s so varied! I enjoy activities
such as backcountry skiing, cross-country skiing, randonee, snowboard,
climbing, mountain biking, downhill cycling, mountain climbing, ice climbing,
packrafting, fishing, hiking and hunting.
Summer or winter?
Winter! I enjoy all the seasons, but there’s something very special
about winter. Mountains in their snow clothing, skiing and more challenging
Where can we find you right now?
I’m in Hemsedal, where I’m getting ready for a weekend of ice
climbing, mountain skiing and hikes to the summits.
In the Polar Sea. My thoughts often drift northwards.
What are your best qualities on a trip?
I have good stamina and find a lot of joy in ‘hate’. In other words, I
find joy in extreme cold, long days and tiredness. I think the core of
enjoyment is mastering difficult situations. These qualities are good to have
on long expeditions. I’m generally chilled in most situations – and think
clearly things are bad or stressful. This is an important quality in dangerous
And the worst?
I’m very goal-oriented, and sometimes this can cast a shadow over the
small magic moments. I focus too much on forward progression when I should stop
and enjoy the moment.
Are there any trips you remember fondly?
The trip that sits highest in my memories is crossing Alaska. The
feeling of feeling in the middle of the enormous wild forest alone with my
wife, was epic. Shit, I miss the endless forest and beautiful mountain terrain
Do you have a favourite destination?
Can I say Norway? We have so many stunning destinations. It’s easy to
dream about the big world, but one doesn’t need to travel far to find
Do you have a funny story from a trip, or are they mostly pain-free?
Not everyone knows our trip across Alaska was our honeymoon. If we
rewind time 6 years earlier, we sat on the train on the way home from our first
trip to Hardangervidda together. Young as I was, I said: "If we ever get
married, the honeymoon will be across Alaska." When she said "I
do" on the Vatnajökull glacier in Iceland, we both knew that she was not
only agreeing to marry me, but also to cross the 1,800km long wilderness in
A romantic trip in the wild, perhaps? She got inflammation, yellow
staphylococci and Giardiasis (Beaver fever), which causes all food to come out
every conceivable way for about 10 days. During the 57 days we were on tour,
there was hardly a day when she didn't cry.
It might not have been the most romantic honeymoon of all time after
Despite the fact that it was not painless, she sums up the trip as one
of the roughest and coolest things she has done in her life #GirlPower!
What about a proud moment, there must have been a few of those?
Together with ALFA ambassador Thomas Lone, we invited
three former drug addicts from the foundation Medvandrerne to walk the length
of Hardangervidda with us. They had not worn skis since they were small, and
had never pulled a heavy sled before, but took the challenge and took their
first steps on Finse in a storm. 6 days later they had crossed the
Hardangervidda, sometimes in a full storm. The pride they exuded rubbed off on
me. I'm proud of them, and proud that we did this together!
Yay! This is an interesting question. It's actually very rare that I'm afraid on a trip.
I've been drowning in a raging river with ice water, woken up with a bear outside the tent canvas in Alaska, I've partially fallen into a crevasse and located a dead person at almost 7,000 m.a.s.l.
Maybe I should have felt more scared? No! But there is one trip where I felt that the margins were too small, and that the horror struck. It was on Svalbard last year. I was alone in the tent at the top of Lomonosovfonna on Svalbard with hurricane force winds (36 m/s). I was in the center of the storm and had no shovel to dig with (long story). I dug all night with a 1L titanium kettle and the stock of the shotgun, fighting to keep the tent standing in the storm. When I called home on the satellite phone, I got
the disheartening message: The hurricane would last 4 days and the wind would reach 42m/s! As a new father on an ego trip, I didn't good when I called the Governor to be taken out by helicopter in a short weather window with
"only" 25m/s wind.
How important is gallow humour for you?
Gallow humour is so important when a group are on a long trip. When
your feet smell of death or a mate relieves themselves in the outer tent, it’s
great to add humour to the situation.
Who is the boss? You or nature?
Nature! Always! We can challenge and stretch it, but Mother Nature
puts us quickly in our place.
What is best about being outside?
Freedom! Mastery! It’s also a wonderful contrast from a hectic daily
life. In nature I can challenge myself, master, experience and breathe.
Do you think about the environment when you're in nature?
Absolutely. I try to be as traceless as possible and choose
environmentally friendly products when I can. Equipment can be repaired before
it needs to be replaced, and when I need to upgrade functional kit, I seek out
others who can get enjoyment from my old equipment.
What is your motto?
When I’m old, I want to look back on my life and be satisfied!
What are your ambitions for the coming years?
I’m attracted to the extremes. Both Poles are high on my wish list.
We have to ask: why did you choose ALFA?
There are many reasons why I choose ALFA. First and foremost because
they make the world’s best hiking shoes and backcountry ski boots. ALFA are a
business with Norwegian roots, who have equipped outdoor enthusiasts with the
highest quality shoes for 90 years! That means something! It’s also important
that ALFA support a wide range of ambassadors and not just those who go on the
most epic adventures. In this way they contribute to putting mental health on
the agenda, spreading the joy of hiking amongst ‘normal people’ and ensuring
outdoor life is for everyone.
I am happy this question allows for more than one favourite shoe!
- Ski shoes: ALFA Polar Advance and Polar A/P/S
- Mountain shoes: ALFA Holt A/P/S - these are super lightweight with cushioning. Almost a revolution I'd say!
- For everyday: ALFA Drift Advance GTX and Talus Perform GTX