Garry Tutte

Mike Beedell

Mike Beedell is a photographer, videographer, conservationist and outdoor educator with 42 years of experience documenting remote locations of the planet.

He has been drawn to the ends of the earth for his entire career.

Mike’s passion for the Polar Regions has sculpted much of his career. His landscape & documentary photography has been exhibited internationally at World Expos, Olympic Games & at the United Nations. He is the author/photographer of the Canadian bestseller “The Magnetic North . Mike has logged tens of thousands of kilometers by canoe, kayak, dogteam & sailboat during his 42 year career . These experiences have been published in best-selling books, magazines and radio and film documentaries. Mike has had major features published in National Geographic, Geo Germany, Equinox and Canadian Geographic.

One of his greatest rewards is introducing newcomers to the rugged yet fragile parts of our planet that must be protected for future generations. Mike is a fellow of “The Royal Canadian Geographical Society”

He also leads custom photo-tours throughout the world & works with Adventure Canada as a photographer & resource person.

To see Mike’s photographic work & projects go to

Frances Garrett

Frances Garrett has taught in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto since 2003. She grew up in Oregon, received a B.A. in Philosophy from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. Frances studied the intersections between tantric practice, ritual/occult knowledge, and medical theory, and what these tell us about the processes of institutional and ideological change in Tibet. She has also studied the Tibetan King Gesar epic. With a team she developed an online Classical Tibetan language course, and is co-founder of University of Toronto Outdoors. She also coordinates the University of Toronto’s Tibetan studies programs. With colleagues in Toronto and Sikkim, she is now working on a project focused on Mount Khangchendzonga.

Nar Bahadur Lama (Jigme)

Nar Lama aka Jigme has been a rural development worker in Nepal since 1996. His quest for finding answers to the issues of societies and individuals at tough times of political conflict and poverty led to deeper interactions with the meditation teachers of his homeland, eventually becoming a long-term practitioner under their guidance. He was also one of the first generation from his region to go to school and eventually studied MA in Rural Development, and BA with a Buddhist studies major from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. His interest lies in utilizing the contemplative traditions in mainstream disciples mainly in the field of rural development. He also runs charity and deep immersion tours in the region.

Bridging Sky and Mountains: The role and relevance of contemplative tradition of ‘Cho’ (Cutting Through) practice for addressing socio-environmental challenges and development in Humla, West Nepal. Presented at the second Thinking Mountains Summit, Banff, Canada, Oct. 2018.

Kate Harris

Kate has presented at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival and the Thinking Mountains International Conference, Banff. Her book “Lands of Lost Borders; Out of Bounds on the Silk Road”; is National Bestseller, Winner of the 2019 RBC Taylor Prize, Outside Magazine Book Club Pick, and Best Book of 2018, a CBC Best Book of 2018, Winner of the 2018 Banff Mountain Book Award for Adventure Travel.

Kate Harris is a Canadian writer with a knack for getting lost. She has written for Outside, The Walrus, and The Georgia Review, among other publications, and recently earned her private pilot’s license. A former Rhodes and Morehead-Cain scholar, she was named one of the “world’s most adventurous women” by Condé Nast Traveller. She lives off-grid in a one-room cabin near the BC/Yukon/Alaska border, with occasional stints in Ontario for family time, her wife’s job, and hot showers. Her first book was the award-winning and best-selling Lands of Lost Borders. She’s currently working on her second, Practical Experiments in Soaring.