Celebrating a new season with a new launch!

 

Celebrating the Spring Equinox with a new look.

As the snow melts off from a long, beautiful winter season here in The Canadian Rockies, I thought this a fitting time to refresh the website and announce some exciting developments.

So, welcome to the brand new look of http://www.meghanjoyward.com! I hope you enjoy the fresh, clean look and rather exciting background photo from my ascent of Mt. Assiniboine last summer. This Spring has brought a number of new things into my life, most importantly a new role with an exciting magazine. I have recently joined Highline Magazine as Editor and will fully take on that role by the end of May (as the rather amazing current editor phases out). Not only will I be planning and editing the print magazine with the magazine’s publisher/creative director, Kristy Davison, but also developing and maintaining a brand new website we are planning to launch at the end of the spring. So, stay tuned for that!

I have recently finished the first draft of The State of the Mountains Report, a rather long report I have been working on for The Alpine Club of Canada intermittently for the past two years. It is off to an editor now and then will go through the revision, then formatting and layout processes. I am very excited to have this report in the final phases. A summary of the report will also appear in this year’s Canadian Alpine Journal.

Additionally, plans are in the works for some upcoming travel, including Nunavut in April for 10 days and then off to Nepal this coming fall for 9 weeks, where I will be trekking and conducting research on the ever-growing issue of garbage building up at the Mt. Everest Base Camp.

Here’s to a great summer of hiking and climbing ahead, new opportunities and all the great things life brings our way!

Little Mountain, Big Cause

Years ago, I heard Stephen Lewis speak at Queen’s University in my first year there. He was speaking about the war on Iraq at the time, but being Stephen Lewis, couldn’t help himself from mentioning how many billions of dollars the US had just put into their way and how many billions of dollars they took away from their original pledge to help turn the tide of AIDS. It was after this point in his speech that Lewis introduced the sold out audience to his “little foundation,” The Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF). That night I went home and looked up the foundation’s website and have been a supporter ever since. If anyone knows me, they’ll know now that every year I dedicate a bit of my time, a bit of my own money and at times, some web space, to promoting this little foundation and raising awareness and funds for HIV-related issues in Africa.

Last year, the SLF started a new campaign leading up to World AIDS Day on December 1st called A Dare to Remember. With this new campaign, they dared ordinary Canadians to take on a challenge – any challenge – and raised funds to do it. Dares ranged from portaging a canoe through Toronto to writing and performing standup comedy. I chose to do 100 Sun Salutations for the cause.

This year, I wanted to dare my community in Banff to take on a dare as well. So I challenged them to hike Tunnel Mountain, a small mountain of about 790 feet, as many times as possible between November 8 and 14th. I pledged to do it 7 times, and as of today I have 4 more hikes to go. Day 1 – I went up normally. Day 2 – I took my hoola hoop. Day 3 – I ran up the mountain. What will I do next? You’ll have to stay tuned in.

I’m only at 38% with my fundraising goal as of today, so to support my Dare, please click here.

As a little sneak peek, here’s a video of me hooping on the summit.

© Meghan J. Ward, 2010.

New Publication: O Canada Go!

Keep your eyes out for the latest issue of Highline Magazine.

Here’s a sneak peek at the upcoming Winter 2010 issue of Highline Magazine featuring my latest article, O Canada Go! In this article, you’ll find a brief history of the Olympic spirit in the Bow Valley and cool interviews with four Olympic hopefuls.

Check out what Phil Widmer, Sara Renner, Chandra Crawford, and Mike Robertson had to say about what the Olympics mean to them, what motivates them as athletes, and more! Which one of these athletes thinks a cool Polynesian culture would scratch the travel itch – you’ll have to read to find out. You can pick up Highline Magazine in the upcoming weeks throughout the Bow Valley.

In other news – I hit up Sunshine Village last week and it was amazing. Coming from Ontario, where powder is something you only dab on your nose, my day in the pow up at the hill was unreal. So far, it’s been a great start to the ski season, and let’s hope that keeps up! Anything could be better than last year’s. Can’t wait to get touring this winter.

Next up is coverage for Skiing Magazine of the upcoming World Cup and WinterStart festival in Banff an Lake Louise. Hope to see you there!

Not a great shot, but check out that snow!

© Meghan J. Ward, 2009.

New Publication: Jungle, desert, and elusive spider monkeys

The Gazette
Jungle, desert and elusive spider monkeys

This season’s issue of The Gazette features an article I wrote on my solo trek up the 12,529 foot Cerro Chirripo, the highest peak in Costa Rica and second highest in Central America.

The article, Jungle, desert, and elusive spider monkeys, provides a personal account of this exciting hike and the obstacles I faced along the way, including a misleading guidebook description, a painfully heavy pack, and a lack of hot food. Interestingly enough, I felt totally at home.

Get your hands on the current issue and come and see what I learned about Costa Rica upon arriving at Crestones Base Lodge at 11,063 feet. You might be surprised, too.

© Meghan J. Ward, 2009.

New Publication: Banff Mountain Festival Is a Must-See

Every year, the Banff Mountain Festival puts a spark in an otherwise dreary fall season here in The Rockies. Bringing together mountaineers, adventurers, filmmakers, authors and speakers, the Book and Film Festivals offer an amazing week of armchair excitement.

I decided to interview Festival Director, Shannon O’Donoghue, to get the inside scoop on the Festivals, as part of an article featured on the Travel Alberta: Holiday Ideas website.You can find the article here.

www.banffcentre.ca

© Meghan J. Ward, 2009.

New Article in Travel Alberta’s “City Spice”

Back in the summer I interviewed the head chef at one of Banff’s best restaurants, The Bison Restaurant and Lounge, to find out more about their in house charcuterie program. It is a neat part of their quest for sustainable practices in the food industry. You can read a bit more about their unique approach to this ancient tradition in the current issue of City Spice in Reviving a Tasty Tradition.