Just a few days shy of International Hobbit Day, a fellowship of High School pupils and staff bid farewell to the suburbs and made their way to the summit of Djouce Mountain, a steep climb off the Wicklow Way trail. This is the first in a series of challenges that pupils in Form 4 must complete as part of the Gaisce/President's Award. Dressed in suitable attire, they formed a long line, silhouetted against the darkening sky. No malevolent wind or low lying cloud could deter this band of happy hikers. All along the dim, misty mountain, the sound of High School voices rang out, telling stories of adventures had and yet to come, dreaming of their journey's end. A chill wind circled the summit while pupils enjoyed a long-expected rest, feasting until the food ran out and it was time to move on once more. One clear voice rising above the others descried the dragon-shaped cumulus cloud heading their way, but Mr Rankin dispelled their fears with one stern look. High spirits soon returned with the promise of a glowing fire and warm, dry beds, and the party of friends set off once again. The challenging descent was over in half the time just as a soft rain began to fall. Weary Wanderers one and all, they bid farewell to the majestic mountain taking the south road home, tired but content to have made it there and back again, just in time for supper.