While it is rarely a case of the complete ascendancy of acrobatics over esthetics, we should bear in mind that the mountains are more to us than a mere proving-ground of strength and alert skill. Rock-climbing should be considered a thrilling means to a more important end. Just what the end and aim of our appreciation of the mountains are, is an elaborate metaphysical equation, the solution of which is implied most clearly in these words of Whitman-
"... while the great thoughts of space and eternity fill me
I will measure myself by them."
The artist in man seeks ever to venture new phases of beauty; the wilderness will reveal the profound significance of life to him who approaches it without sentimentality or the possessive attitude. While vulnerable to material defacement, the mountains are beyond the exploitations of the baser spirit, yet ever captive to the imagination and the living dream.