A dozen mountaineers made their way to the top of Red Slate Mountain, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, on a day early in September. The ascent required strong lungs and legs, and the motivation to walk and climb from our base camp at 10,500 feet above sea level, to the summit of the mountain, at 13,136 feet. The rewards included the 360 degree views and a well-earned lunch. The less tangible rewards included a sense of accomplishment, and the joy of conscious existence that came from working our muscles and minds to accomplish a desired goal.
For me, I don't climb a mountain, as George Mallory put it, "because it's there." I climb because I can, because it's a way to prove to myself I'm still alive.