Does your walking club have what it takes to become an Irish hillwalking team champion? If so, we are delighted to offer you that chance. The All-Ireland Hillwalking Clubs Championship is the ultimate outdoor sports competition contested in the Irish uplands. It is free to enter and is open to all experienced hillwalkers.
To compete in any of the four All-Ireland Hillwalking Championship categories, each participating hillwalker is required to visit High Point locations throughout Ireland, log them using the Peakhunter smartphone app, and register them with us via the Highpointeer Score Form hosted on our website.
The competitive season starts on the day of the Spring Equinox and finishes six months later on the Autumn Equinox.
Please note that the All-Ireland Hillwalking Championships will have a new streamlined format from 2022.
Instructions for individual club members
- Take part in the All-Ireland Hillwalking Individuals Championship (click here for participation instructions).
- Let your club committee know that you are representing the club in the All-Ireland Hillwalking Clubs Championship.
- Direct a member of your club's committee to the "Instructions for club committee members" below to ensure that your club is eligible to be represented in the All-Ireland Hillwalking Clubs Championship.
- If your club is eligible to be represented it will have a profile page on The Ireland Walking Guide website and appear as an option in the Highpointeer Score Form.
Instructions for club committee members
- Please make sure that your club has a profile page on The Ireland Walking Guide website (click here to get this set up). Clubs without a profile page cannot be included as an option on the Highpointeer Score Form which prevents them from being represented in the Clubs Championship.
- If your club has a profile page, tell your fellow members about the Clubs Championship and that they can contribute to the club's official score by participating in the All-Ireland Hillwalking Individuals Championship.
- If your club is one of the three highest-scoring clubs, we will email you a Clubs Entry Form. Failure to submit a Clubs Entry Form will cost your club the top-3 placing earned by its members. In this case, your club's placing will be offered to the next placed club and so on until we have an official top-3. Submission of a completed Clubs Entry Form is the official confirmation of a walking club's participation in the All-Ireland Hillwalking Clubs Championship. It is also our way of verifying that individuals claiming to represent your club are in fact members of your club.
- Complete and submit the online Club Entry Form before the end of 15th October (unless instructed otherwise by email).
The three walking clubs who accumulate the highest point-scores during the sport hillwalking season will secure the top three placings in that year's All-Ireland Hillwalking Clubs Championship. The selection process is as follows:
- All submitted Highpointeer Score Forms are automatically added to a secure spreadsheet.
- Each completed Highpointeer Score Form received is manually checked and verified.
- After the submissions deadline (30th September), the final version of the spreadsheet containing all verified Highpointeer Score Forms received during the year is interrogated and the five highest-scoring entrants from each walking club are identified.
- Each club's overall score is tallied and the three highest-scoring clubs are identified.
- A Clubs Entry form is emailed to each of the three highest-scoring walking clubs to be completed and submitted no later than 15th October. If any of the three highest-scoring clubs fail to submit a Clubs Entry Form, it will loose out on the top-3 placing earned by its members. In this case, the club's placing will be offered to the 4th placed club and so on until we have an official top-3.
- The three walking clubs with the highest scores are announced in October.
- The 2021 All-Ireland Hillwalking Clubs Championship was scheduled to start on 20th March but was postponed until 10th May due to the travel restrictions which were in place to minimise the spread of Covid-19.
- Click here to find out how you can take part.
- Result will be announced in October 2021.
- CHAMPION - No clubs qualified
The All-Ireland Hillwalking Clubs Championship
Please note that there is an annual three-day challenge hillwalking festival in east Munster through which the organiser offers his own informal version of an "All-Ireland Hillwalking Club Champions" title. It was purely by chance that we became aware of this other title in 2021 which isn't surprising as it doesn't appear to have been publicised beyond the festival's attendees. The title has been presented each year since 2015 to the walking club whose members collectively attend most days of the walking festival.
In post-event reports published on the festival's official website each year between 2015 and 2020, the title has consistently been referred to as the "[All-Ireland] Club Challenge". Having looked back through the festival's social media posts, the title was first referred to in August 2018 as the "All-Ireland Challenge Hillwalking Club Champions". Since 2019, the festival organiser appears to have dropped the word 'Challenge' from the title when referring to it on social media.
The geographical spread of walks on the festival's programme is limited to just three mountain ranges within the three eastern counties in the province of Munster. There is very little evidence of clubs from outside Munster being represented at the festival. The competition's attendance-based scoring system strongly favours local walking clubs and the organiser can easily identify who the winning club will be when the festival's registration window closes, months before the participants set foot on the hill. It is highly unlikely that a club from the northern half of Ireland could send the required numbers to win. In addition, the festival has limited spaces available and these appear to be snapped up very quickly by past participants. This further reduces the chances for clubs who have not taken part before.
Based on the limited geographical scope of the festival's walks programme and participation catchment, we see little justification for giving formal recognition to the All-Ireland Hillwalking Club Champions title associated with the festival. We would, however, see enough justification to give it formal recognition if the title were renamed as either the "Club Challenge" (within the context of the festival itself) or the "East Munster Hillwalking Champions" (in its widest possible context). The latter title works as a possible template for other walking festivals in Ireland to introduce their own local / regional Sport Hillwalking competitions.
The annual six-month-long "All-Ireland Hillwalking Clubs Championship" managed through the High Point Ireland project is a true All-Ireland Sport Hillwalking competition spread across all 32 counties. It features all 187 major geographical High Point locations, each of which can be counted up to four times during the season. Due to the fact that our competition is not a mass start event, we are not required to limit the number of participants, thereby giving ALL walking clubs in Ireland a fair and equal chance.
In addition, the size of each team in our official All-Ireland Hillwalking Clubs Championship is limited to a maximum of 5 people, so the final placings won't be based on attendance numbers. Again, this gives EVERY walking club in Ireland a fair and equal chance.
Based on our official Championship's wider geographical scope, six-month duration, greater requirement for all-round hillwalking competency, and its consistent title, we see no reason to ever rename our "All-Ireland Hillwalking Clubs Championship" to anything else. In addition, our Clubs Championship is part of the broader All-Ireland Hillwalking Championships which also includes the following three competitions:
- All-Ireland Hillwalking Individuals Championship
- All-Ireland Hillwalking Counties Championship
- All-Ireland Hillwalking Provinces Championship
Please note that we are not attempting to discredit the challenge hillwalking festival or its organiser in any way. In fact we would be more than happy to help promote the festival if requested to by the organiser and on the condition that the festival's club competition is appropriately renamed in order to avoid unnecessary confusion. The sole purpose of this note is to clarify any confusion between two similarly named, but very different, hillwalking club competitions.