I am a Wellington based freelance guide, science educator and photographer. My passion are the remote, mountainous, and snowy places of our world. I go there for works and for fun, I am a nomad in search of snow, I am a Snowmad. Having worked many years as a scientist I took part in several expeditions to Antarctica. There I came face to face with the effects of climate change.  I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and engaging with people in order to preserve the wonderful places. Another way for me to show the beauty of these places and to instil in people a wish to preserve them is through photography and guiding.

Katja Riedel (Photo: Michael Wenger)

Katja Riedel (Photo: Michael Wenger)


Katja Riedel grew up in Germany where she studied and completed a Phd in Atmospheric Chemistry. For her research she overwintered 1997 at the German Antarctic Base Neumayer where she was responsible for the Atmospheric Observatory. Since then she has been on several scientific expeditions to Antarctica, for example measuring ozone at Scott Base, drilling ice cores at Law Dome and taking samples of 120,000 years old ice on Taylor Glacier in the Dry Valleys.

She completed a course in Antarctic studies and worked for more than 12 years as a research scientist in Wellington, New Zealand. Her research interests were greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and in ice cores. Since 2011 she works as a guide and lecturer on expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctic.

The Polar Regions have always fascinated Katja. On private adventures she skied over 220 km through Svalbard, sailed in a small yacht to Antarctica, kayaked icy waters and worked as a science assistance in Western Greenland. Her fondest memories of Antarctica are building a 24h sundial and sledging from Hut Point to the Erebus Ice Tongue. Most recently she skated 250 km across the frozen Lake Baikal in Siberia. Life is an adventure for Katja and whenever she can she travels, hikes, cycles, sea-kayaks and skis to the remote and beautiful places on earth.