We are very happy to report that 2017 was another fantastic year for High Point Ireland and the Highpointeering community.
Here are some of 2017’s highlights:
- List completions
- An epic fastest-time record.
- 2 all-Ireland team competitions.
- A new sports discipline
- A new way to celebrate the longest days of the year.
- A new dedicated News Hub website.
- 2 new locations
- 8 new sub-lists
- Photo competition winners
- A unique charity-fundraising challenge.
- A growth in membership across all community sectors.
- A trebling of site traffic to our Information Hub website.
- Going mobile with a global partner into 2018.
Read more about 2017’s highlights below.
Certificates of Completion
The following people were awarded Certificates of Completion in 2017 and have been added to the Completers Register. The relevant Gribbon sub-lists and completion years are included here in italics under their names:
(G) = Gold; (S) = Silver; (B) = Bronze
- Provinces 2017(S)
- Counties 2017(S)
- Provinces 2017(S)
- Counties 2017(S)
Seán Ó Maoilsté
- Provinces 2017(S)
- Counties 2017(S)
If you have completed the Gribbon list or any of its 16 sub-lists, and have not yet received a Certificate of Completion, feel free to request one from us. Find out more about our Certificates of Completion.
Certificates of Excellence
On 22nd April 2017, Shaun Stewart and Lonan O’Farrell became the fastest people to complete a round of the County Gribbons. Shaun and Lonan completed their epic round at the summit of Errigal Mountain in County Donegal in a time of 60 hours and 35 minutes.
A very special congratulations to Shaun and Lonan on your achievement.
Highpointeering: a new sports discipline
On 17th May 2017, the introduction of our Leagues as the first-ever all-Ireland Highpointeering team competitions officially marked the arrival of a new sports discipline. We invited participants to enter these competitions as individuals with a chance of becoming one of the “Elite Ten” highest point-scorers representing their home county and province. In these open competitions, men and women, young and old, compete with and against each other on an equal footing. At High Point Ireland, we are totally committed to an “equality for all” approach to participation in the sports discipline of Highpointeering.
As the sole driving force behind the development of this new competitive sports discipline, High Point Ireland became its all-Ireland governing body.
Ireland High Points Week
Ireland High Points Week is an initiative we have come up with to help promote the sports discipline of Highpointeering in Ireland. Created as the focal point of the Irish Highpointeering calendar, Ireland High Points Week will occur each year when the sun reaches its own highest point in the Irish sky – the Summer Solstice. The Week is centred on Solstice day itself, and includes the three days before and the three days after.
Individuals, walking guides, clubs, event organisers and local businesses can get involved by organising their own formal and informal visits to Gribbon locations throughout Ireland and share their stories, photos and videos on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and Instagram using the hashtag #IrelandHighPointsWeek.
Dillon Lynch and his dad Patrick really got into the spirit of Ireland High Points Week in 2017. They visited at least one Gribbon location each day.
News Hub website launched
On 15th July 2017, we announced the transfer of our blog from the original High Point Ireland website to the WordPress platform. We have since added a forum where the various sections of the High Point Ireland community can post brief news stories as comments. The original website is now the High Point Ireland Information Hub, while the WordPress website hosting the blog and forum is now the High Point Ireland News Hub.
New locations and sub-lists
On 24th June 2017, we published 2 secondary Gribbon sublists.
These two sub-lists are the first high point or summit lists ever to be compiled specifically for young people and are part of our Youth Involvement Programme.
On 12th September 2017, we published 2 more secondary Gribbon sub-lists.
On 12th October 2017, we added 2 new locations to the Gribbon list.
On the same day, we also announced the first set of regional high point lists ever to be published for Ireland:
High Point Ireland Photo competition winners
In 2017, we had 3 photo competition winners.
Our growing community
We were honoured to have the following guides, clubs, events, charities, sponsors and partners join our community in 2017.
Highpointeering Club of the Year
On 5th December 2017, we celebrated the 2nd anniversary of the official launch of High Point Ireland and the Gribbon list by announcing our latest award category. The Highpointeering Club of the Year competition will be run for the first time in 2018.
For the incoming 2018 season, High Point Ireland will be running its second year-long 10,000m Challenge as an all-Ireland multi-charity fundraiser. During 2017 – its inaugural year – this unique challenge has been gaining recognition for its fundraising potential. So much so that charities are choosing to get involved in 2018.
Highpointeering in Ireland is based exclusively around the Gribbon list of Ireland’s major geographical high points. The aim of the 10,000m Challenge is for each registered participant to visit at least 10,000 vertical metres worth of Gribbon locations during 2018. Most challengers are likely to be experienced hillwalkers who already venture into the Irish uplands on a regular basis. In some cases, challengers may not even have to alter their current walking habits to achieve the 10,000m goal.
During the year, each challenger logs all their visits to Gribbon locations using the Peakhunter smartphone app and in a digital Highpointeer Logsheet & Entry Form which they submit to High Point Ireland at the end of the year. This form automatically generates personal metres and points totals as the challenger fills it in. The information they provide on their submitted form also allows each challenger to represent their county, province and walking club Highpointeering teams in High Point Ireland’s annual points-based competitions. The individual with the highest points-score in 2018 will become the all-Ireland Highpointeer of the Year.
To take part in the 10,000m Challenge 2018 charity fundraiser, please click here, then register as a challenger through your chosen charity.
Peakhunter: our official logging partner
Peakhunter is the world’s No.1 peak-logging app for smartphones. As our official logging partner, we encourage all Highpointeers to download the Peakhunter app and to use it to log all their Gribbon location visits. Peakhunter log entries are now our preferred method of verifying visits which count towards our various challenges and competitions.
Peakhunter also hosts one of our challenges. The goal of this challenge is to visit 25 Gribbon locations in 2018 to earn a digital badge for your Peakhunter profile page.
Get the app. Get logging. Get the badge.
As part of the High Point Ireland mission statement, we are committed to reporting voluntarily, publicly and honestly about website performance. In our reports, we quote both the number of unique visitors AND the total number of page views to be sure there is no confusion or deception. We could easily cheat by quoting some exaggerated numbers we’ve just plucked out of thin air in an attempt to impress you, but we’re not like that. Instead, our figures are accompanied by analytics graphs which clearly demonstrate variation throughout the relevant period of time. During 2017, the High Point Ireland website received 36,745 unique visitors and 173,060 page views. That’s an average of 100 unique visitors and 474 page views per day. In comparison, the website received 11,789 unique visitors and 55,145 page views during 2016 (increases of 211% and 213% respectively in 2017).
We have been more active on our two main social media outlets during 2017. As a result, we now have 489 followers on Twitter and 298 on Facebook. If you’re not already following us, feel free to do so. We will have a lot more to talk about in 2018. You can also find us on Instagram, Peakhunter and ViewRanger.
Accuracy in the information we provide is one of our priorities. In 2018, we received some very useful information about specific Gribbon locations from Patrick O’Brien and Mark O’Leary.
We have noticed that many people who climb Galtymore Mountain have their photos taken at the white metal cross. This led us to question whether or not the cairn marks the summit of the mountain. To help us clarify this, we called upon the services of Patrick O’Brien. We asked Patrick to take a series of very specific photographs of Galtymore Mountain’s summit area. From the photos he provided, we were 100% satisfied that the cairn is the mountain’s true summit. Thank you Patrick for your assistance.
On a family holiday to Inisheer, Mark O’Leary asked one of the islanders about the highest point on the island. Mark was informed that An Tur Faire is the high point, and relayed this information to us. For the original Gribbon list, we had identified the 57m summit of Crogán Ard as Inisheer’s high point. This new information needed to be checked, so we took another look at OSi Discovery Sheet 51. Sure enough, there is a small 60m contour at the location of An Tur Faire. This contour is so small and hidden by building symbols that it is very easy to miss. We will be replacing Crogán Ard (57m) with An Tur Faire (60m) in the coming weeks. Thank you Mark for bringing this to our attention.
Annual award submissions
We are delighted to have received 11 entry submissions in our annual awards competitions. Although this number is smaller than we had hoped, the positive comments received from the entrants prove that our efforts were worthwhile. We are proud to have created competitions that have made a real difference to people’s lives and taken them to places they might never have visited otherwise.
We will be announcing the 2017 award winners in the next few days.
2017 was a busy year for building the High Point Ireland Information Hub and News Hub websites, promoting the sports discipline of Highpointeering, developing new initiatives, and expanding our community. We now offer the largest selection of upland sports challenges, leagues and awards competitions in Ireland, and we have plenty more ideas in the pipeline.
In 2018, we will be building on these foundations. You will see a considerable increase in activity from us on social media. Our News Hub will establish itself as the primary news outlet for our growing community of upland adventurers. New awards categories will also be introduced. We will be encouraging all Highpointeers to download the Peakhunter app and to use it to log all their Gribbon location visits. We also hope to see every county being represented in our Counties League, so please step up for your county in 2018. Most importantly, we want our participating charities to benefit as much as possible from 10,000m Challenge 2018.
We wish you all a happy, healthy, peaceful and successful 2018.
High Point Ireland.