Some of the things that a mountain or range of mountains can symbolize:
- climbing over one or passing through a range indicates overcoming obstacles or making progress
- climbing up a mountain or other height often indicates spiritual or mental "rising" or improvement
- permanence and immovability
Mountains can also be used to create a secluded, isolated or hard to reach place. Such a place could symbolize loneliness or difficult to achieve mental, spiritual or emotional states.
Mountains also can represent a dwelling of a holy being or a God, or someone or something representing a deity
In the books by J. R. R. Tolkien, including The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, mountains are obstacles that the heros must overcome.
In James Hilton's Lost Horizon, a utopian group lives hidden high up in the mountains in Shangri-La. The difficulty of getting there protects this special society from ordinary influences that corrupt other human communities.