Challenge yourself to climb every 700m+ summit in the Blackstairs Mountains. On this page you will find information about the Blackstairs 700s Challenge including its summit list, useful car parking locations, recommendations for guide books and maps, and links to local facilities. This challenge, along with the 17 other 700s challenges, is part of the All-Ireland Mountain Race which starts on the Spring Equinox and finishes on the Autumn Equinox.
The Blackstairs 700s Challenge requires participants to visit 2 summits in the Blackstairs Mountains. These are marked on the map along with nearby car parking options. Click on a marker for more details. This challenge is intended only for experienced and well-equipped hillwalkers and mountaineers who can navigate themselves confidently through rugged and exposed terrain in any weather. Route choice is entirely up to the participant, therefore we have not included any route suggestions on the map. Route planning is part of this challenge.
The Blackstairs 700s Challenge is an optional part of the annual All-Ireland Mountain Race which starts each year on the Spring Equinox in late March and ends on the Autumn Equinox in late September. Challenges undertaken outside race season cannot be registered. Each participant can only register a completion for this challenge once per year. Registrations for subsequent completions of the same challenge in the same race season will not be accepted even if the participant records a better time.
This challenge has a default duration time of 4 hours and 30 minutes.
Default duration time is based on the most direct walking route linking all the required summits. The initial ascent to the first summit and the final descent from the last summit are not included. The default duration time has been calculated using Naismith's Rule plus an additional 50%.
- Install the Peakhunter app on your smartphone, create a profile and sign in.
- Visit all of the required summits in the Blackstairs 700s Challenge. Summits can be visited in any order.
- Log each summit visit using the Peakhunter app while present at the location.
- Register your completed challenge by filling out and submitting the completion form below.
- To become an official entrant in our All-Ireland Mountain Race, you must complete at least 3 different 700s challenges between the Spring Equinox and the Autumn Equinox. These times must be registered using their respective forms no later than 30th September.
- The challenge starts on the first summit to be logged using the Peakhunter app and finishes on the last summit to be logged. Challenge start and finish times are recorded as time stamps in these logs.
- If you do not complete this challenge or register its completion, its default duration time (see above) will be applied to your All-Ireland Mountain Race total time.
- If you register a completion for this challenge where the actual recorded time exceeds the default duration time, the actual recorded time will be applied to your All-Ireland Mountain Race total time.
The winner of the All-Ireland Mountain Race will be the individual who records the lowest combined total time for all 18 of our 700s challenges. The winner will receive a Gold award. Second and third placed participants will receive Silver and Bronze awards respectively. Only participants who register completions for at least 3 of the 700s challenges during the year will be entered into the race. This means that a race entrant can omit up to 15 challenges. For each challenge he or she does not complete, the relevant default duration time(s) will be applied to that participant's overall race time.
This challenge is intended only for experienced and well-equipped hillwalkers and mountaineers who can navigate themselves confidently through rugged and exposed terrain in any weather. If you are planning to undertake this challenge, please be aware that hill-walking and mountaineering are risk sports. The Ireland Walking Guide and Donard Media (the website's publisher) accept no responsibility for any injury, loss or inconvenience sustained by anyone undertaking this challenge. Personal safety is entirely the participant's own responsibility.
The inclusion of each summit in this challenge is based entirely on it being at least 700m above sea level. It should not be assumed that access is permitted to any of the summits. The Ireland Walking guide and Donard Media recommend that anyone planning to visit any of the summits as part of this challenge should check for potential access restrictions and to request permission from the relevant landowner(s) in advance.
If you are taking part in the All-Ireland Mountain Race and would like to include your Blackstairs 700s Challenge time, please register it by filling out and submitting the challenge's completion form to us no later than 30th September. The form can be accessed via the green button below between the day of the Spring Equinox and 30th September. Each participant is only permitted to register one completion of this challenge per race season.
Recommended guide books
Walking guide books are great way to find the very best walks in Ireland which have been hand-picked by local experts. Recommended guide books for the Blackstairs 700s Challenge are listed below. These describe various ascents, descents and inter-summit link routes.
Ireland is covered by a good selection of quality maps produced by a variety of publishers. The most useful maps for walkers range in scale from 1:25,000 to 1:50,000. For the Blackstairs 700s Challenge, the recommended titles are listed below.
- EastWest Mapping 1:25,000 - Blackstairs, Mount Leinster & The Barrow Valley
- Ordnance Survey Ireland 1:50,000 Discovery Series - Sheet 68
If you require accommodation, food and drink, or other local facilities while undertaking the Blackstairs 700s Challenge, we recommend you check out what's available in the following nearby destinations.