Based in New Zealand, Colin Monteath is a polar and mountain photographer and writer who is passionate about wild places and expedition travel. In 1983, he founded Hedgehog House New Zealand with a commitment to increase an awareness of the need to preserve wilderness, especially in the high mountain and polar regions.
Since 1973, Colin has worked in Antarctica for 31 seasons. At New Zealand's Scott Base as Field Operations Officer (1973-83) , he helped co-ordinate New Zealand's science program and worked with the Scott Base huskies. In charge of the rescue team, Colin helped co-ordinate the recovery following the 1979 Air New Zealand crash near Mt Erebus. Colin acted as a guide for HRH Prince Edward in 1982. In 1978, on an expedition to Mount Erebus, Colin made the first descent into the inner crater. Colin has climbed numerous first ascents in the Transantarctic Mountains and in 1993, became the first New Zealander to reach the highest summit in Antarctica, Vinson Massif.
Since 1983, Colin has worked as a guide for polar companies, principally Aurora Expeditions. He has guided peaks on the Antarctic Peninsula and has completed two crossings of South Georgia on Shackleton's route. In 1991, Colin joined a Soviet icebreaker to make the first surface vessel traverse of the Arctic Ocean via the North Pole - followed by a transit of the NE Passage in Siberia. In 1993, he dog sledged across Greenland and in 2008, skied across Svalbard.
Colin has been a mountaineer for 40 years and has climbed New Zealand's Aoraki 13 times. In 1974, Colin was a member of the Commonwealth Andean Expedition in Peru's Cordillera Vilcanota. Colin's 21 Himalayan expeditions include....Australian Annapurna III Expedition (Nepal 1980) , New Zealand Garhwal Expedition (Shivling - India 1982), Australian Everest Expedition (First ascent White Limbo route North Face - Tibet 1984), New Zealand Pamirs Expedition (Pik Kommunizma USSR/Central Asia,1986), Australian Karakorum Expedition (first ascent Chongtar - Xinjiang, China, 1994), New Zealand Tibet Expedition (Gurla Mandhata, 1998), New Zealand Mongolia expedition (traverse of highest peak Mt Huiten, 2000) New Zealand expedition to Kangri Garpo mountains (Eastern Tibet, 2001), New Zealand Karakorum ski expedition to K2, Pakistan (2005), New Zealand ski expedition through Chador gorge and Zanskar Mountains (NW India 2006). In New Guinea, Colin guided a climb of Carstensz Pyramid (1995). On a ski expedition in 2002 Colin traversed Denali, North America's highest peak.
Colin has undertaken numerous photographic and magazine assignments to Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego, Alaska, Greenland, Antarctica, Mongolia, Kenya, Siberia, Bhutan, Pakistan, Central Asia, Pakistan, India , China , Nepal and New Guinea. His images and feature stories have appeared in magazines such as GEO (Germany), National Geographic (USA), Australian Geographic (Australia), Terre Sauvage (France), The Geographical Magazine (UK), Conde Nast (UK, Spain), Rock and Ice (USA), Action Asia (Hong Kong ), Time (USA) and Mother Nature (Japan).
Colin has worked on numerous book projects on the polar and mountain regions. He was the principal photographer for the Reader's Digest book Antarctica - Great Stories from the Frozen Continent (Australia, 1985), co-author of Smithsonian Institution Press's Wild Ice - Antarctic Journeys (USA, 1990) , author and principal photographer New Zealand - The land at the end of the Earth (White Star, Italy, 1996), author and photographer Antarctica - Beyond the Southern Ocean (NZ 1996), author and publisher Hall and Ball - Kiwi Mountaineers (NZ 1997), author and publisher of Under a Sheltering Sky - Journeys to Mountain Heartlands ( NZ 2003), photographer for New Zealand (National Geographic, USA, 2009), author and principal photographer Vanishing Wilderness of Antarctica (White Star, Italy 2009) and New Zealand's Mountains (NZ 2009), New Zealand Coasts (2010) and Antarctica - Land of Silence (2011).