Bloomer’s Challenge is a brand new hillwalking challenge based on the UK Prominent Peaks database. As such it has the characteristics of:
- An excellent list for people new to hillwalking
- A consistent approach applied to the whole of the UK
- Demanding prominence criteria meaning distinct peaks and good views
- Metric based height and prominence criteria to match modern maps
- An increasing number of mountaineers and hill walkers are prioritising hills by prominence. This phenomenon has had its greatest impact in North America but is now moving to Europe and elsewhere.
Many hill lists have less demanding prominence criteria with a stronger focus on height criteria. Bloomer’s Challenge is based on the very demanding prominence criterion of 500 metres. This means that every peak in the challenge will be the major one for a particular area of high ground. Every peak in the list will be topographically distinct from neighbouring members of the list and is therefore likely to be a very good viewpoint.
The famed Munro list misses some of the more interesting hills of the Scottish Islands, Southern Uplands and parts of the Northern Highlands (not to speak of ignoring England, Wales and Northern Ireland) because of its 3000 ft height criterion. Bloomer’s Challenge has no demanding height criterion and therefore includes Prominent Peaks over a wider area of the UK. Summit heights range from Trostan (550 m) in the Antrim Hills to Ben Nevis (1344 m) in Lochaber.
Bloomer’s Challenge is made up of the 158 most Prominent Peaks in the UK, which have a prominence of 500 m or more. These hills come from 2 Prominence Group categories. Ben Nevis, Carn Eige and Snowdon are P1000s (with a prominence over 1000 m) and the remaining 155 hills are P500s. Some 133 of the P500s are on the GB mainland and can be considered to be descendants of the 3 P1000s. Four Northern Irish hills are descendants of the P1000 Carrauntoohil in the Irish Republic, which is not included in a UK list of hills.
If you attempt Bloomer’s Challenge, you will achieve tremendous coverage of the UK’s hills (from Devon to Sutherland and Fermanagh to Northumberland) and will have visited the highest point of every landmass over 500 m. Whilst you will not have visited all the highest summits, you will have generally climbed the hills with the most extensive views.
Bloomer’s Challenge hill list is available as a downloadable Excel workbook as part of a set of hillwalking resources available on this site. This workbook can be used to track your progress with the list.