“We were really limited by the elements, the winds 20 or 30 below,” Riedel said of her “Bering Sea Gold” job. “There were a lot of barriers we needed to overcome and we are all still learning … We aren’t certified divers and we are trying to do something that is very difficult and dangerous.”
Despite the dangers, Riedel isn’t ready to stop. “There are certain goals I have for gold mining that I haven’t yet achieved, so I am going to keep on trying until I do,” she explained. “On a bad day, I saw I could stop this and become and an accountant, but that’s not true. I would be a horrible accountant. We are incapable of having regular jobs … Normal settings make me really anxious. I don’t feel normal in what should be normal situations.”
How does Riedel deal with being one of the only female gold hunters in the profession? Mostly she hopes to inspire others to join in. “It is a very difficult job mentally and physically, and there just aren’t that many women drawn to this career — although there should be and I hope that changes,” Riedel said.
“Bering Sea Gold: Under the Ice” airs Fridays on the Discovery Channel.