Do you have what it takes to claim one of Ireland's top-3 annual challenge hillwalking awards? If so, we are delighted to offer you that chance. The Irish Challenge Hillwalker of the Year award is a unique outdoor sports competition designed exclusively for challenge hillwalkers. The award is open to all hillwalkers who successfully complete any of our 24 Irish mountain challenges or 700s challenges in a single day during the Sport Hillwalking season. To take part, challenge hillwalkers must log their chosen challenges' respective mountain summits on location using the Peakhunter app.
This competition is as much about a hillwalker's real navigational skills as it is about their fitness. If a hillwalker is entirely dependent on electronic devices and / or smartphone apps for navigation, they aren't actually doing any navigating themselves and should not be taking part in this competition. For this reason, we require photographic evidence to demonstrate the absolute minimum level of competency (i.e. that they are carrying a relevant hardcopy map and a traditional magnetic compass on the day of their challenge).
The Irish Challenge Hillwalker of the Year award is the highest level of recognition in this specialist Sport Hillwalking discipline. A dedicated award is also available in each of the other two disciplines: Highpointeering and mountaineering.
We encourage challenge hillwalkers to also take part in the All-Ireland Hillwalking Championships - the official national-level multi-discipline Sport Hillwalking competition open to all challenge hillwalkers, Highpointeers and mountaineers in Ireland.
In order to take part, hillwalkers must submit a Sport Hillwalking Entry Form before the halfway point of the Sport Hillwalking season and register for our 25 Irish Mountains Challenge on Peakhunter. Once registered, they need to complete any of our mountain challenges or 700s Challenges in a single day during the Sport Hillwalking season. So far, we have set up 42 different Irish hillwalking challenges for this competition. To score points, challenge hillwalkers must log all of their chosen challenge's respective mountain summits in under 24 hours and while standing at each of them using the Peakhunter app.
- Download the Peakhunter app to your smartphone and set up a profile. Peakhunter is our official logging partner.
- Sign into the Peakhunter app on your smartphone. You should only have to do this once.
- Log a location in Ireland using the Peakhunter app and include a photo of yourself at the location. This will be part of the identification verification process.
- Complete and submit a Sport Hillwalking Entry Form between 1st February and 30th June.
- Register for the 25 Irish Mountains Challenge on Peakhunter. Access to this will be via a link which we will provide to you through the Peakhunter messaging system.
- Undertake your chosen hillwalking challenge(s). Log all mountain summits visited along the way while present at their respective locations using the Peakhunter app. You can only earn points for a hillwalking challenge if you complete it in less than 24 hours during the Sport Hillwalking season.
- For a single-day completion, you will score the respective weighted point-score for each mountain summit featured in that hillwalking challenge. For example, a single-day completion of the Mourne Mountains Challenge would earn you 120 points. An incomplete challenge will earn you no points. A challenge completed in more than 24 hours will earn you no points.
- To claim points for completing a hillwalking challenge in a single day, you must provide the absolute minimum evidence to prove that you are a competent challenge hillwalker. The evidence we require is a photo you have taken at one of the challenge's mountain summits which shows your own hand holding a traditional magnetic compass and a hardcopy of a map recommended on the respective mountain challenge's page on The Ireland Walking Guide website. Under no circumstances will we accept electronic compasses and / or digital mapping. We only need to see the map's front cover so please fold the map for the photo. The image must be attached to one of your Peakhunter logs. You will be asked to supply the URL of this log entry when you submit the Hillwalking Challenge Completion Form. This image is the minimum evidence of hillwalking competence we require, and points will not be issued without it.
- To add points to your Irish Challenge Hillwalker of the Year competition score, you must complete and submit the online Hillwalking Challenge Completion Form. We strongly encourage you to submit this within one week of completing each challenge. A prompt form submission will speed up the admin side of things at our end (i.e. verifying completions, updating the leaderboard, issuing Certificates of Completion, etc). We reserve the right to disregard forms received more than a week after completion day.
- The Sport Hillwalking season generally starts on 1st March and ends on 31st October each year. During this eight-month-long competition, you are permitted to count each hillwalking challenge once.
- Each mountain visit can only be counted towards one hillwalking challenge. This means that you cannot claim points for completing two or more challenges simultaneously (e.g. the Mourne Mountains Challenge and the Mourne 700s Challenge). Each challenge must be undertaken separately.
- You are also welcome to take part in the Irish Highpointeer of the Year and Irish Mountaineer of the Year competitions as well as the All-Ireland Hillwalking Championships.
- All single-day challenge completions will be verified from the 25 Irish Mountains Challenge on Peakhunter.
- Each challenge hillwalker's total score will be calculated based on all the Hillwalking Challenge Forms we receive.
- The highest-scoring man and woman at the end of the Sport Hillwalking season will each earn the title of Irish Challenge Hillwalker of the Year and will each receive a Gold award.
- In the event of a draw, the winner will be top-scoring individual with the lowest combined time for all their completed challenges.
- The 2nd and 3rd highest-scoring men and women at the end of the Sport Hillwalking season will each receive a Silver and Bronze award respectively.
- The award winners will be announced in early November.
- The 2024 Irish Challenge Hillwalker of the Year competition will take place between 1st May and 31st August.
- The results will be announced in September 2024.
|1st Man||PATRICK O'BRIEN||851 points from 12 challenges||GOLD|
|1st Woman||CAROLYN HIKE ON||596 points from 12 challenges||GOLD|
|2nd Man||DILLON LYNCH||212 points from 2 challenges||SILVER|
|3rd Man||BEN DOHERTY||84 points from 2 challenges||BRONZE|
|2nd Woman||DEIRDRE McENIRY||59 points from 1 challenge||SILVER|
|=1st Man||DILLON LYNCH||140 points from 17 challenges||GOLD|
|=1st Man||PATRICK O'BRIEN||140 points from 17 challenges||GOLD|
|3rd Man||MOUNTAIN MIKE||121 points from 17 challenges||BRONZE|
|1st Woman||IDA LAZEWSKA||93 points from 10 challenges||GOLD|
|2nd Woman||OLIVIA JOYCE||23 points from 4 challenges||SILVER|
|3rd Woman||JOSEPHINE O'BRIEN||20 points from 4 challenges||BRONZE|