Vanlife 2.0-Subfloor

We finished off having traced the original floor onto our insulated subfloor. The next day, with help from Luke (Josh’s brother) and the Watt’s (who lent us the jigsaw), Josh and Luke cut and sanded the subfloor squares. Then, Josh and I laid them into the van. It all fit like a glove- Amazing!!!!!!!


Subfloor installed in promaster

When we traced it out, we favoured the passenger side of the van- you can see that the pieces fit perfectly. The driver side of the van, you can see some small gaps between the wood and the wall of the van. We plan on using smaller pieces to fill these in- the good news is that this side of the van will be completely covered by the kitchen and the bed frame 😉

Now we wait for the temperature to increase so that we can insulate the walls. We are planning at least one window install on the driver side (in the kitchen) and potentially the back windows (we’ll see). We are also slowly buying the stove, sink, pump faucet and solar system…. We want to have these appliances and stuff ready for when we are.

For now, we wait…



Vlog. Not for video blog, but Van Blog.

Yep, that’s right, we are van owners again! Van 2.0. Van upgrade. #vanlife2.0


Josh and I had a Ford E150 that was outfitted for camping. The guy who did the work for us did an amazing job. It was insulated, wood floors, walls and ceiling. We had a bed and a small kitchen inside. We put over 100K on Latisha (that was her name) roaming around Canada and the USA climbing. Although she served us well, we thought that we needed an upgrade. Something we could stand up in and move in around a bit more. So, we bought a truck and trailer. We took said truck and trailer to Hueco for it’s maiden voyage and decided that pulling a trailer wasn’t for us, and neither was trailer life. When we returned from that trip we promptly sold the trailer and hung onto the truck. The truck came in handy during the gym build but something was still missing…. and that was easy access to road trips.

It’s hard to convey how easy it is to just ‘hop in the van’ and head out to the mountains, or somewhere else for a day, a few days or even longer. You never have to find a place to stay, all the stuff you need to #vanlife is in the van, you just toss some clothing into the cupboards and you’re good to go! We actually didn’t get out much the last two years because we just didn’t have that kind of easy access to the great outdoors! Something had to change and we started to plan for #vanlife2.0.

Fast-forward two years (van-less) and here we are. We have just bought a Dodge Promaster 2500. It has 50k kilometers on it, a few scratches and minor dents, but she’s a beaut! We are going to renovate the van for #vanlife2.0 and we are going to try and do most of the work ourselves. First off- we know basically nothing. Josh building the gym has taught him some things, but I am entirely uneducated about any of this ‘stuff’. Most of our conversations end up in domestics LOL! Nonetheless, here we are and we are going to try our best.

Up first: the floor.

First road block: the temperature

Well is was fall until we bought the van and then it promptly became winter. We aren’t going to let that stop us though. We have 4 days with this van until we head east and we want to get an insulated floating floor down!


The Van Day 1

Day 1:

In the freezing cold, Josh removed the wood flooring that came with the van and then together we used a goo-gone spray cleaner to wash the grime off the floor. It was freezing cold so we had a little space heater in the van and used it to warm the floor up a bit as we cleaned. It was a little bit slow because of the heat limitations (the spray would freeze to the ground if it wasn’t warm enough), but we got through. What’s left are some black glue spots from the previous floor. And, believe it or not from seeing all that glue, we did get the floor off in one piece!



Under the original floor 


floor done and cleaned. Partition gone as well 

Day 2:

Again, it’s freezing cold, but we will make the best of it. We don’t have any tools so Josh went to home depot and had plywood cut into thin strips to later PL between the metal slats on the floor. The point is to level it off. As it turns out we had to use a knife to trim back some of the glue that spilled over into the ‘ruts’- but it actually turned out to be no biggie. The next thing we needed gone was the partition. It was held on with a zillion bolts and some rivets. Josh had to get a drill bit to drill through the rivets to get them off and it eventually worked. We promptly put the partition on Kijiji and it was sold within 30 mins. We weren’t sure if the PL was going to work to glue those slats down in these temps so we tested one slat for an hour. Turns out PL400 was good to go in -15! The slat held, so Josh finished PLing the rest of the slats to the floor of the van.

We are planning on laying an insulated subfloor on the floor of the van. We bought the subfloor in DRIcore 2 x 2 squares. We labored over how we should attempt to cut the pieces to match the contours of the van, then came up with this:

1- we laid down some sheets on the garage floor to protect the insulated subfloor

2- we hammered together the subfloor to the measurements of the van

3- we laid the old floor that we had pulled out of the van originally onto the tiles and then traced out the parts to cut out

4- we removed the black wood floor and labeled each tile.



We put together the subfloor, layer the black floor on it and traced out the spots to cut. 


Me numbering the tiles before we take it all apart to cut tomorrow 

We are thinking that we are pretty much geniuses and thanking our lucky stars that we had that floor to trace off of because neither of us can be trusted with measuring and cutting (just ask my dad about installing our hard wood floor).

And that’s where we are at! Tomorrow we plan on cutting the tiles and laying and hammering them into the van- stay tuned!



Challenge accepted!

Not sure how many people saw this post from Gripped, Canada’s Climbing Magazine: “Canadian Climber’s Blogs to Follow in 2015”, but tucked away in there was this….

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I had to chuckle because seriously- have you seen my blog- I’m pretty bad at updating it. I’m not one for making new years resolutions (I kind of do the reflecting / resolution / goal setting stuff on my birthday) however, I accept this challenge!!!! I will do my best to post about my climbing, training and travels.

For my first post, I’d like to steal a blog from Jelisa Dunbar. She recently wrote a great piece on some Canadian climbers who have inspired her over the last year. I had the pleasure of working with Jelisa on this project and I’m very proud of her work here. It gave me the opportunity to reflect on my own year and what has inspired me.

Show and Tell. 10 highlights of Canadian climbing in 2014

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Looking back at 2014, for myself in climbing, I had a breakthrough year. I nailed my training, I took several amazing trips for outdoor climbing and I attempted to climb (focussed on) my first 5.14. I’m really psyched on what I’ve been able to accomplish- juggling three disciplines (indoor competition, outdoor bouldering and outdoor sport) is hard sometimes because there are moments (big chunks of time) where you can have no big successes (personal best sends); and I suppose it’s because the focus is spread out. Don’t get me wrong, everyday out (or indoors) climbing is a success. And even when there are no sends, there are small victories in learning movement or getting 1mm closer to the hold. These victories are what keep me coming back for more.

Since my focus is spread between three ‘disciplines’ I try to be very realistic with my goal setting. My 2014 goals were this:

Boulder outdoors: Send at least one V8

Sport climbing: Project and send Ojas, 5.14a

Competition climbing: Finish in the overall top 10 females in the open category

I changed up my training for 2014 by 1. making it more personalized to me and 2. incorporating functional strength / movement into my program, this with the help from Morgan Alexander of Revolution Human Performance here in Calgary. With a more strength based program I was psyched to have completed 2/3 goals in 2014- Ojas will have to wait until next summer 🙂

The last year in Canadian climbing has seriously ramped up! I was especially inspired by Marieta Akalski who put Canadian females on the international map after sending several sport climbs in the 5.14 grade. The Canadian youth who are dominating up here and in the PanAm circuit. The efforts of the country to push the sport of climbing forward by organizing provincial governing bodies and making the competition scene in Canada that much closer to being recognized officially by the government. The local Calgary crew for working on creating a culture of climbing and training for advancement in both competition and outdoor climbing. The list goes on…

Looking forward to a happy and healthy 2015! Keep in touch everyone and all the best!

I’m Back!

Where did I go… School and it sucked the life out of me- almost literally- drained me to the core and back- there were no creative juices left. The only thing good that came out of it was, well, the degree of course, my third a bachelor of education and the fact that Josh learned how to take care of grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, laundry and basically everything else it takes to keep a household together. But now that school is over, I feel it’s time to come back to some things I have neglected. For starters my blog.

Some updates:


It wasn’t all bad- although coming from a science background I found it hard to endlessly share my feelings. I went into the program thinking it would be a cakewalk (easy), I had done a masters degree so how hard could this be? It wasn’t so much that it was hard; it was just extremely time consuming and as I found out over my teaching practicums so is teaching. I thought I could juggle teaching and climbing but as it turns out I can’t. I’ve made the decision to spend some time working for the Calgary Board of Education this summer and will likely sub this coming fall/ winter, but full time teaching- nope I’m not ready and I’m also not worthy!!! Props to all the teachers out there who work twice as much as most others but only get paid to work one full time job.


I’ve started to travel- and if you are wondering if it’s only related to climbing the answer is no! My family took a trip to Portugal the summer of 2012- and it was the catalyst to a thirst for traveling and consuming culture and knowledge.

Paine Family in Portugal

Paine Family in Portugal

The following summer (2013) we took a guided tour of western Turkey and the Greek Islands- totally amazing, we learned a ton about the history and culture and people.

Mothers Day in Mykonos

Mothers Day in Mykonos

Regan, Wendy and Ryan in Greece

Regan, Wendy and Ryan in Greece

Regan and Ryan in Turkey

Regan and Ryan in Turkey

Then this past may (2014) my mother and I took a tour of Morocco- incredible! I have always had this romantic idea of Morocco and I have always wanted to see the Sahara so when my mom said she would take me on a trip anywhere I wanted to go I didn’t even hesitate- Morocco it was. And off we went- 8 day tour visiting costal and desert cities / towns. We traveld with an excellent tour guide and a great group of people. Now before anyone judges me, yes you read correctly, I have been taking guide tours- I know I know I should be going on these adventures on my own, planning them on my own but I really like the simplicity of the trip being planned for me, never waiting in lines, seeing everything there is to see and more and getting a lot of insider knowledge from the tour guide about the culture and the people. As we take long drives the tour guide chats away on the microphone explaining all things (insert country here) and the guests are able to ask any questions freely. Josh and I have now both traveled to Turkey and Morocco, him on his own and me with tours and for the most part we had very different trips- he got to experience the culture more naturally than I did but I learned a lot more and saw a lot more than he did- to each their own 🙂 Josh spent years traveling with his brother and other friends- so the destinations he doesn’t want to return to are perfect spots for me to hit up ‘on tour’.

Ladies in Morocco

Ladies in Morocco

Doors of Morocco

Doors of Morocco

Our driver out to the Sahara

Our driver out to the Sahara

The Sahara

The Sahara

Watching the sunset in the Sahara

Watching the sunset in the Sahara

Desert Towns

Desert Towns

Tannery in the Medina of Fez

Tannery in the Medina of Fez

Hassan II Mosque

Hassan II Mosque

Climbing (climbing travels)

Well everyone knows that Josh and I were on the road for a year previous to going to school, so we weren’t hard up for a road trip the last two years (but of course that didn’t stop us). We started out the fall of 2012 climbing on the CCC competitive team. That year team was to be organized with a coach and regularly scheduled practices. This was an interesting year for me and what I like to call ‘my discovery year’. Now, nothing against team AT ALL however the structure of it and the planed workouts just didn’t work for me- by the time nationals rolled around I was out of shape and unable to climb a damn thing- at that competition I turned to my friend Kelly and I said ‘what happened in February that made me go downhill so abruptly’ and her answer was ‘we started training power’ – aha!! The wheels started turning and as I started doing the mental arithmetic (as buck would say) that was it- I stopped strength training and I started power training. Silly me- I know myself- I need to be strong and for me power is a function of strength so why oh why did I stop strength training. A new plan of action would be in the works for the following comp season but first I had to head off to SOUTH AFRICA!!!!!!!!! (ok I’m gonna skip this for its own post, but for now, it was amazing and I wish I could live there and or go back every summer- check out this vid Nate Gerhardt, Josh and I put together thanks to Outdoor Research:


Click on photo to view video

Click on photo to view video

After our Africa trip we came back to an altered Bow Valley- the floods in June devastated residential properties, towns, businesses, roads and yes- even the cliffs or at least the hikes up to the cliffs were destroyed and most of the climbing area were closed when we got home. So, summer of 2013 I visited some cliffs I had never been to: grotto, ravens, lookout – to get my sport climbing legs back. Once Acephale opened I had a one track mind- ‘each one teach one’ – a route I had briefly tried the summer before that I really wanted to nab this summer! So it began, the approximately 4 week period of working ‘each one’. Most of the time was spent working one single crux move. Once I finally figured it out I sent within a couple of days!!! My first 13c and an FFA for that route!!!! It was an awesome summer projecting that thing and hitting up some new spots in the valley 🙂

"working the moves" or "getting worked" on each one...

“working the moves” or “getting worked” on each one…


Moving up each one

Fall 2013

My last year of school. I was determined to be even more organized this year than the last year to ensure I kept up with my climbing and still did well at school. After a lot of deliberation Josh and I chose not to join the CCC team this season for two reasons: 1) We realized we needed our own training plan to get strong and say strong for comps / travel and 2) we knew we wouldn’t be able to commit the the team training schedule a) because they were training in the early mornings and b) because our schedules (especially mine with two big teaching practicums) were going to be erratic. A group of us formed the ‘pm-team’ (as opposed to the CCC team that trained in the am’s- we nick-named them the ‘am-team’). We trained together a couple nights a week and once on weekends- we did strength and finer training and some power stuff – never forgetting the strength for me. I have to say that even though I was very busy at school I feel like the training schedule worked well for me and in competitions I climbed well and was a consistently competitive climber all year- my goal was to make top 10 (Canadian national team) and I finished the year in 10th!!!!! Psyched!! I not only trained in the climbing gym, I was also under the eye of Morgan Alexander from Revolution Human Performance.

This year I had my ‘dream team’.1) The group at the gym, or the ‘pm-team’, 2) Morgan, and 3) My chiro Jason fox at Mission Chiropractic.

A little on Morgan: Morgan is the head trainer at Revolution Human Performance here in Calgary. Ex Olympian he is insanely knowledgeable and an educated individual with a focus on strength and functional movement. I heard of him through my friend Pete Woods who had trained with him previously so I thought I give it a try! Writing this blog now I can honestly say that a lot of my climbing improvements and competitive consistencies can be attributed to the work I have been doing with Morgan. He creates 4-week programs that focus on your goals and weaknesses related to your sport- as a side note….

The scene at the gym is incredible as he trains word class athletes of multiple disciplines, we are all there working hard and we are all there doing something different as it relates to our sport- I’m always in awe at the other athletes in there and not to be conceded but they are in awe of me too sometimes as our strengths are often times polar opposites!

At first I hated the 4-week rotation- I like consistency and knowing what to do and being good at what I’m doing, but Morgan did not give in! It took about 6 months before I could actually do anything right and now I’m starting to have strengths is areas I never thoughts possible (like my legs) – I even did my first muscle up recently!! I see Morgan with Josh, Pete, Sue, Lea and Bonar and it’s always a great time and well worth the effort!

Shooting a video with Revolution Human Performance

Shooting a video with Revolution Human Performance

Shooting a video with Revolution Human Performance

Shooting a video with Revolution Human Performance

So with my dream team assembled I had an incredible year (busy as hell with school but thanks to josh and getting fired from the wild rose I managed to pull it off)!!! Speaking of school- I had my final two placements / practicums at Western Canada high school- I feel so lucky to have gone there and most importantly I had an amazing partner teacher. I got to teach biol 30 and science 10 while I was there. All my students turned out to be pretty rad, I had an awesome time there!

School ended is late April and I laid low for a month before I re-entered the world into my current HR position. I have big plans for this summer and have kept up my training. I’m a weekend warrior now, so I will keep up with Morgan and the gym at least once a week while I’m working- but come the weekend I’m off!!

Well, that’s the two year recap- now that I’m caught up I will have more shorter blogs coming up.

Thanks for the support;

Josh muller & Family

Outdoor research

Evolv sports

Flashed climbing

Mission chiropractic

Revolution human performance


Thanks for reading- more updates coming soon!



Please don’t ruin it for the rest of us …

Does every climbing community have that group of people that just want to indirectly “ruin it for the rest of us”?

In my recent travels and in my current location i have been exposed to such groups of people, somehow they see that their way is the best way and use the term “ethics” to disguise what’s really going on … that there is some distain for people that don’t necessarily fit into “their groups”.

A little vague, I know, but without naming names and areas I feel like I have something to say. I haven’t been climbing long, but what I feel about the sport is that we are all connected. Plastic climbers, boulderers, sport climbers, trad climbers, alpine climbers, mixed climbers, ice climbers etc… We all share a love / passion / dedication to the sport in our sub-disciplines.  And, you know what, I have no beef’s with climbers in sub-disciplines that I don’t partake in. I truly think it’ll take the entire community to move the sport forward and that we all work together to contribute to that happening.

I’ve seen a tremendous coming-together in Canada over the sport of climbing, there are lots of events, there are competitive teams, and there are awards and scholarships given out to outstanding individuals who have the dedication to make their climbing dreams come to life. This is a whole community. No one group should be able to take it upon themselves to stop others from doing the sport they love


As our season is coming in, all the best to those excited to get out and climb some rock!!

Hueco part II

Or should i say, Yuma, San Diego and Mexico!!

I took 10 days away from Hueco, to spend Christmas with my Mom in Yuma, do some shopping in San Diego and visit some old friends in Mexico.

My friends Geoff and Deanna Bray recently had their frst baby and i was super excited to meet him!!

Meet Eddie, the cutest baby around!!


Edmund Bray, the happiest baby around!


Papa (Geoff) and Eddie

Sadly i don’t have any pics of Mamma and Eddie 😦 

My mom and i traveled to Mexico to spend a couple days relaxing on the ranch visiting with Geoff and Dee, it was super nice to see them and meet Eddie …. we planned their next climbing trip to Bishop to come meet us in the new year!!!

Mom and i spent some time shopping in San Diego and chilling in Yuma before we both drove back to El Paso. Mom was going to spend two days there with us (Josh, Alex and myself) .. one day we would all go to Carlsbad caverns and the next she would come climbing (watching) with us. We soon realized that there would be no way in hell she would get into North so we ditch part two of our plan …

Here’s a couple pics from Carlsbad caverns! Very cool rest day activity!!


Mom (Wendy Kennedy), Alex and me. About to head into the caverns ...



The kids, i mean boys, i mean men 😉

Jan 1 2012 in the evening we picked up the first of two guests joining us in Hueco, Zak McGurk!!

This leads to part III of Hueco ….

More climbing!!!!!