"There is a certain madness involved," I said, "a certain envy of great and powerful natural forces, that some men have. Each mountain is a deity, you know. Each is an immortal power. If you make sacrifices upon its slopes, a mountain may grant you a certain grace, and for a time you will share this power. Perhaps that is why they call me...."
The Context: Jack Summers, one of the greatest mountain climbers in the universe, gives an explanation beyond "Because it's there."
Why I like it: I don't have any particular interest in mountain climbing, but Zelazny manages to convey the majesty they contain in This Mortal Mountain.