Mountaineering is more than climbing (exercise), panoramic views, and wilderness experience. It is also challenge, risk, and hardship (self reliance). And it is not for everyone. Those drawn to the mountains can find them exhilarating and irresistible, as well as frustrating and sometimes even deadly. There are qualities to mountaineering that bring inspiration and joy in a pursuit that is more than a pastime, more than a sport – a passion, certainly, and sometimes a compulsion.
--Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills Ch. 1