"Why would I climb Mt. Everest? Because it is there."
"The first question which you will ask and which I must try to answer is this, ‘What is the use of climbing Mount Everest?’ and my answer must at once be, ‘It is no use.’ There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behaviour of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron. We shall not find a single foot of earth that can be planted with crops to raise food. It’s no use. (...) We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is for."
~George Mallory, died at Everest in 1924, might be the first person (with Irvine) to have climbed it but can never be prooved.