10 Lessons from a Trekking Fiasco

I’m stoked to be featured on the Sierra Social Hub with a guest post this week, The Dhaulagiri Debacle: 10 lessons from a trekking fiasco.

Here’s an excerpt:

From "The Dhaulagiri Debacle". Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

From “The Dhaulagiri Debacle”. Photo by Paul Zizka Photography.

It’s the kind of thing that seasoned backpackers don’t think will ever happen: one group becomes two and, despite years of backcountry experience, has trouble reuniting. But this is exactly what happened when my friends and I went trekking in Nepal back in October 2011. What should have been a temporary separation resulted in a two-day game of Cat and Mouse.

I tell this story not to recount some tragic tale, nor a story of survival. But, what happened to our group could be easily repeated, and result in more severe consequences, so it’s a story worth telling. At the end of the ordeal, with our assumptions leading us – literally and figuratively – down the wrong trail, we sure finished our heaps of dhal bhat with a big slice of humble pie, and lots to learn.

You can read the rest of this article on Sierra Social Hub! Join us Wednesday, July 17, at 4pm MST for a live chat using the hashtag #STPLive.

Photos from Nepal Trip, 2011

At last, some photos of Nepal from my trip back in the fall of 2011. I wrote throughout the journey on my blog, The Campsite, and you can view all of those blogs here. I am also currently working on a feature story about the impacts of mountaineering and tourism on the local culture in Khumbu, so stayed tuned for news on that publication.

Click on the first thumbnail to enlarge the slideshow full screen. Enjoy!

Highlights of 2011

I don’t know about you, but the end of each year brings me the opportunity to take a glance at the previous years and all the joys, challenges and trials that came with it. Scrolling through my blog from this past year brought back many happy memories and, most of all, heaps of gratitude for the adventures and new experiences that came my way. Here’s just a sampling of the highlights from this past year! Thanks to everyone that have made my dreams a reality.


30 Day Yoga Challenge – I kicked off my year with a kick in the rear!


Launch of The Campsite Blog – A new home to write about inner journeys and the outdoor world.

Joined the team at Highline Magazine as the new Editor.


Launched the new meghanjoyward.com.


Took a trip to Nunavut, including a 5-day ski touring trip through Auyuittuq National Park (pgs. 20-21) and the Arctic Circle.


Launch of the new HighlineOnline.ca – a brand new website for Highline Magazine.

Hanging out with Everest on Gokyo Ri, Nepal.


Got to try mountain street luging with CBC – check out the footage!

Had my first cover feature story, an article about ultrarunner Ellie Greenwood for IMPACT Magazine.

Published The State of the Mountains Report with the Alpine Club of Canada – a 27-page report on climate change from the perspectives of Canada’s famous mountaineers and scientists.


Wrote a brand new consumer brochure for Banff National Park.


Attended the Social Venture Institute at Hollyhock on Cortes Island, British Columbia.


Published the Winter 2012 Issue of Highline Magazine – my first as Editor.

Launched the trailer for Mountains in Motion: The Canadian Rockies, a timelapse film for which I am writing the script.

Spent 9 weeks hiking in the Nepal Himalayas and researching the impacts of mountaineering and tourism on the local culture.

Here’s to a wonderful and amazing 2012! 

Off to Nepal!

Hoping I'm not forgetting something...

My final preparations are being made for my 9 weeks in Nepal! With a Monday departure, I’ve finally wrapped up any remaining contracts and started putting items aside to pack. I’ll be trekking in Nepal with my husband and a few friends in a variety of areas, including Mustang, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu and Everest (no climbing, though!) I’ve just written a longer post for my blog, The Campsite, if you’re curious to know more.

In addition to trekking, I’ll be conducting some hands-on research into the garbage removal and accumulation at Mt. Everest, the tug-of-war between tourism and tradition for the Sherpa people, and the ongoing environmental issues in Nepal, such as deforestation and over-grazing. No doubt, more stories will emerge as we trek along!

I’m looking forward to having some time to write while I’m there and work on some of my other “projects” – ideas I’ll keep to myself for now, but will no doubt surface in the year to come!

Stay tuned here, to The Campsite, and particularly to my Facebook Page, where I hope to post more frequent updates.