Mountains are extraordinary places. Often when people reach the summit of a mountain, it is hard for them to describe in words how they feel. The feelings are intensely personal and deep in ways hard to explain to people who have never experienced such moments. Obviously, hiking or running up a mountain is good for your physical health because it takes stamina and endurance (and a little bit of courage), but there is something beyond just the physical challenge a mountain presents that draws people back to high places on a regular basis.
Some people argue the energy we feel from the mountains is a purely psychological feeling triggered by awe from the view experienced on top of a mountain or in beautiful scenery. One study found the more awe people felt during an outdoor adventure, the happier and less stressed they were in the following week.
Once on a summit there is a sense of being connected with something larger than yourself. As you look down upon the landscape below, you can immerse yourself in the awe of what you have accomplished. Mountains reinforce there are bigger things in life than just ourselves. A mountain reminds us to reign in the ego, to remain humble, because we still pale in comparison.
Personally, I find the prospect of reaching a summit to be a highly motivating, helping me to push through and dull some of the pain experienced during the ascent. I find when I focus on achieving a summit, I begin to draw on the energy of the mountain to fuel my goal.