I didn't have a very good answer. Or rather, I didn't have a very good way of saying my answer. I responded that I mostly enjoyed "mountain climbing" and left it at that, probably a pretty vague and unsatisfactory answer to what seemed a straightforward question. But I came across a quote from John Muir today that would have been a more apt description of why I most enjoy heading for an adventure in the alpine.
Thousands of nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home, that wilderness is a necessity, and that wilderness parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.
Of course, if I'd answered with all of that, I'd really have gotten an odd look.
Sunset bivy from the highest point in the North Cascades National Park, after 2 days of mountain climbing with my friend Sol Wertkin. We were "living the dream" before the 20-something mile return to the road the next day.