To flatlanders, climbing a mountain may seem like a straightforward task. After all, from down below and at a distance, the summit can be seen clearly, even obviously. But experienced mountaineers know they face a different perspective when they hit the trail toward the top.Specifically, as climbing angles steepen, the summit in their view - seemingly so easily conquerable - is nothing more than a "false summit." False summits are intervening ridges or other terrain features that are positioned between the climber and the real pinnacle in such a way that the latter is obscured.

Many have struggled to clamber what they think are the last few feet, only to come face to face with the reality that they have not reached the summit at all. Some turn back, having expended their energy, muttering something about at least getting that far, while the hardy and the committed regroup and press on to the top.

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