What are CHCs?
Community Hillwalking Competitions (CHCs) are a unique sports initiative created by High Point Ireland and delivered alongside our annual All-Ireland Hillwalking Championships. They are designed so each CHC is only open to members of its respective local, regional or All-Ireland community. The duration of a CHC can be as short as 2 months or as long as 8 months.
CHCs give local, regional and All-Ireland communities (e.g. walking clubs, employers, professional bodies, universities, etc) an opportunity to host their own in-house hillwalking competitions. Each standalone CHC is managed by its respective host organisation. The technical elements (logging, score-keeping, leader board, etc) are all managed centrally within the Peakhunter platform.
CHCs are designed to promote a wider interest in hillwalking within everyday group settings. The health benefits of hillwalking as a recreational activity are well-known, ranging from enhanced physical fitness to improved mental well-being. By hosting a CHC, your organisation can introduce a friendly competitive element to improve social bonding, team-building and personal skills while also injecting some additional banter and camaraderie.
We at High Point Ireland, like many of our fellow hillwalkers, have long regarded hillwalking as a sport. Prior to 2016, hillwalking was missing the one final key ingredient it needed to officially become a true sport. That missing ingredient was an All-Ireland hillwalking competition. Since 2016, High Point Ireland has been remedying all that by hosting and developing the Irish national-level hillwalking competitions. In 2021, Sport Hillwalking became an official standalone sport with High Point Ireland as its All-Ireland governing body. The introduction of Community Hillwalking Competitions is the natural next step in Sport Hillwalking's evolution. We hope you and your community will join us.
How do CHCs work?
It's really quite simple. Between 1st March and 31st October each year, High Point Ireland hosts the All-Ireland Hillwalking Championships as four consecutive 2-month-long rounds of competition. Each round has its own real-time leader board which updates automatically when participants log visits to Irish mountain summits and High Points. There are 355 of these located throughout Ireland, each with its own weighted point-score value.
Recruiting participants and arranging teams for each Community Hillwalking Competition is managed entirely in-house by its host organisation. To generate a real-time score in a CHC, participating individuals must register for the respective round(s) of the All-Ireland Hillwalking Championships on the Peakhunter platform. At the end of each CHC, the host organisation can easily extract the relevant scores from the Championship leader board(s) to produce a full list of placings.
How long is a CHC?
A short-duration Community Hillwalking Competition could be based on any one of our 2-month-long rounds of competition (e.g. 1st July to 31st August). From a host organisation's point of view, this is probably the most convenient option. Alternatively, a full-duration CHC would be based on all four rounds (with or without bonus points factored in).
How much does it cost?
As with all of our initiatives, there is absolutely no cost to participating individuals or hosting organisations. We do not charge any registration or participation fees. Each host organisation is welcome to offer prizes in its respective Community Hillwalking Competition.
We have coordinated with Peakhunter to set up all the tricky technical stuff, so your part is very straightforward. If you would like to organise a Community Hillwalking Competition, please follow the step-by-step guide below.
- Choose a duration for your CHC. The options are 2 months, 4 months, 6 months or 8 months. If you decide to go for the full 8-month option, you can also choose to factor in bonus points earned by participants who complete specific list challenges along the way.
- Invite members of your community to take part in your competition. It is recommended that you create and maintain a spreadsheet for your CHC. Your participants will need to set up their own individual accounts on Peakhunter. When registering for your CHC, participants only need to provide you with their name and their Peakhunter username. Please do not provide us with any of the information you collect from your participants. We have no need for it.
- To generate real-time scores, participating individuals must also register for the respective round(s) of the All-Ireland Hillwalking Championships on the Peakhunter platform. Please inform your participants about this.
- If your community comprises multiple smaller communities, we suggest adding a team category to your CHC. This would work particularly well in a large business with various departments, a professional body representing several companies in a specific work sector, or a university / college comprising different schools or faculties. Other types of community may also suit a team category.
- Encourage participants to visit Irish mountain summits and High Points over the duration of your CHC. Please ensure that participants familiarise themselves with the All-Ireland Hillwalking Championships format and rules. In particular, please emphasise that each of the 355 locations can only be counted once in each 2-month-long round.
- If you choose not to include bonus points in your CHC, you can extract the participants' scores directly from the leader board(s) on the Peakhunter platform. We recommend waiting for a couple of days after the respective round has finished. This will give participants enough time to upload the logs from their phone app to the Peakhunter server. If your CHC has a duration of 4, 6 or 8 months, you will need each participant's total scores across 2, 3 or 4 rounds respectively. We will aim to publish up-to-date spreadsheets on 10th May, 10th July, 10th September and 10th November. These searchable spreadsheets will show what every participant scored in each round along with running totals. This will make it much easier for you compile your CHC's score board and identify winners.
- If your CHC's duration is 8 months and you choose to include bonus points, the announcement of your CHC placings will have to wait until after the final All-Ireland Hillwalking Championships scores are revealed in mid-November. A searchable spreadsheet of final scores will be published on our website. This will make it much easier for you compile your CHC's score board and identify winners.
To generate a score in a Community Hillwalking Competition, you need to register to take part in the All-Ireland Hillwalking Championships. Click the green button below for full details.
If you are an employee of a large business, a member of a professional body, or a student at a university / college, please bring our Community Hillwalking Competitions initiative to the attention of a relevant social / sports / well-being representative. All the information they need for setting up a CHC is detailed above.