Arderins: An official list of Irish summits for hillwalkers on the island of Ireland

Introduction

Mountaineering Ireland and MountainViews have collaborated to develop an all island list of Irish mountains, capable of acquiring the status and recognition of the Scottish Munro list.  A working group with members from Mountaineering Ireland’s Hillwalking Committee and members of Mountain Views was set up to develop the official list of Irish summits.

Both organisations were concerned to avoid encouraging any development which could be detrimental to the environment and the unspoilt nature of Irish hills. They were also conscious that the uplands in Ireland are used by hillwalkers in a very patchy way, the Wicklow area, the Mournes and the Reeks are arguably overused, while equally exciting hills in many other areas are virtually unused.

Vision

An accepted list of Irish hills, defined according to certain criteria, which encourages hillwalkers to explore upland areas throughout the island, without compromising the wildness, uniqueness and environment which give Ireland its character.

We are mindful of the success of projects such as the Munros in Scotland and the Highpointers lists in the US.   We see the Arderins as a premier list, the extent and nature of which, and the effort it takes to complete it, providing hillwalkers and clubs with a serious challenge usually undertaken over a lifetime of walking. It was, therefore, agreed that the Arderins list is the most appropriate for Ireland’s official mountain list.

 

Arderins

The Arderins is a list of 406 mountains that are +500m in height with a prominence of at least 30m which is objective and capable of being easily expressed and understood. The term ‘Arderin’ is symbolic, meaning ‘Ireland’s height’ in Irish, as well as being the name of a hill located close to the geographical centre of the island. 

The Value of the Arderins List

 -        Environment - Spreads the environmental impact over a greater number of areas.  Certain areas bear a disproportionate amount of hillwalking activity in Ireland and are consequently the most environmentally impacted. The list is geographically wide-ranging on the island with twenty six of the thirty two counties represented and includes many challenging peaks.

 -        Hillwalking as a Sport – Supports, increases awareness of, and promotes the further development of the sport of hillwalking. Encourages young people to see hillwalking as a challenge. Develops skills of fitness, navigation, self-reliance and route finding. A list of mountains provides a framework for discussion of routes, summit advantages and disadvantages, access issues and culture.

 -        Health – Supports the development of walking as a wellness activity. 

 -        Rural Development – Enhances the viability of more remote communities by bringing visitors.  Helps raise interest in the archaeological and cultural heritage of the area and stimulates the development of the very rudimentary support facilities required for this activity. 

Challenge yourself - walk the Arderins

Hillwalkers can log Arderins as they complete them on Mountaineering Ireland or MountainViews websites.  There will be recognition of successful completion of the Arderins on an ongoing basis.  To date (August 2020) 9 hillwalkers have completed all 406.

Generally, responsible hillwalkers enjoy unhindered access to Ireland’s mountains and upland areas, due to the goodwill and tolerance of the landowners.  Maintaining access and good relations with landowners and local communities is a shared responsibility among hillwalkers. Even though some routes are well-established, this does not confer a legal right of entry.

 

 
 

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