Ian Mulvany

December 25, 2023

My Climbing Year in Review - 2023

I had to wrap up my climbing year a bit early. On Thursday, just over a week ago, I injured my left ring finger’s FDP (long finger flexor tendon). It’s a moderate injury; recovery should take six to ten weeks, maybe less, but it’s serious enough for me to stop climbing ahead of our Christmas trip to go skiing.

In spite of this setback at the very end of the year, it’s been a good year.

Looking at some data on boulder problems sent:

2023: V4: 92, V5: 14
2022: V4: 73, V5: 7
2021: V4: 45, V5: 5
2020: V4: 7, V5: 0
2019: V4: 22, V5: 0

Month with most V4s: November 2023 (34 V4s)
Month with most V5s: June 2021 (5 V5s)

So, I did 92 V4s in 2023 (almost made it to 100 before the injury). I use Pinnacle to track my climbing, and looking at the distribution of when I went climbing, I had the following:

  • 21 weeks with no climbing.
  • 4 weeks with three sessions.
  • 11 weeks where I did two sessions in the week.
Some interesting things:

  • I never climb on a Sunday.
  • I had 53 sessions in 2023, but they were not evenly distributed.
  • At the end of March, I had three weeks with no climbing.
  • I had six weeks of no climbing at the end of April/May (probably due to a burst eardrum).
  • I got on the Kilterboard 10 times in 2023.
For 2024, there are a few specific things that I can work on:

  • Recovery from injury is the key thing for early 2024.
  • I’m going to Font for a few days in April for my 50th birthday. I want to get fit for that.
  • I’m going to build a climbing wall in my house — a Moon Board mini. That means I should be able to increase the amount of time spent on system boards.
  • I can definitely look to increase the volume in terms of the number of climbing sessions.
  • I can definitely look to increase Kilterboard sessions.
For areas of focus for training, I want to continue to work on flexibility and core strength. Those are areas that I have just started to develop.

I’m not going to make a point of using the fingerboard much in 2024, but will probably try to introduce some bodyweight repeaters on a weekly basis (post-injury recovery).

I’ve never been successful at introducing periodization, but I think I will try that in 2024 — a month of base strength (for routes), followed by a couple of months of bouldering strength, and back again.

I think that 2024 is looking very positive, and I’d like to get to the end of the year with the following:

  • A return to injury-free climbing.
  • A good attempt at Marie Rose.
  • An increase in V5 problems in the bag.
  • Any time spent on the outdoor boulders in London.

About Ian Mulvany

Hi, I'm Ian - I work on academic publishing systems. You can find out more about me at mulvany.net. I'm always interested in engaging with folk on these topics, if you have made your way here don't hesitate to reach out if there is anything you want to share, discuss, or ask for help with!