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.