A mountain doesn't need to be a range High Point, or have a certain amount of relief, or exceed some arbitrarily designated elevation to be incredibly meaningful to a person or groups of people.
We can derive extreme personal significance from places on the earth that, to the population at-large, are seemingly insignificant. I've lived in a few places in Montana, and always in the western third, and thus, always near mountains. Cheesy as it may sound I have loved mountains I've never stepped foot on, and I have allowed specific mountains to consume large portions of my life. So I'll share some of the Mountains I've Lived By. Maybe you've heard of them, with most you probably haven't.
Sheep Mountain is near Clancy, Montana, where I grew up. This northeastern sentinel of the Boulder Batholith isn't much over 6,000 feet in elevation. My first experiences hunting were on its flanks, among hundreds of house-sized boulders. Sheep is a popular rock-climbing destination, and offers a folf course, the remnants of mining, and dozens of caves to explore and play in. Providing stunning vistas of the Elkhorn Mountains to the east, Sheep Mountain also has a mining claim completely surrounded by public land that was cut up into a subdivision for half-million dollar homes on its southern exposure - to the dismay of at least one Montana blogger.
Alright, so this one isn't seldom visited. In fact I feel confident in saying Mount Sentinel is the most-hiked mountain in Montana. Like a lot of people who attended UM though, I got a lot out of Mount Sentinel. Whether class was boring, or I was walking across campus, or I was stuck in traffic on Reserve Street, my eyes would wander to Sentinel. Living in student housing right next to the Mountain, for a while I tried to track the large deer herds in a journal I kept, in hopes of being the first to find a huge pile of sheds when the antlers dropped off their ungulate owners. That never panned out for me. I'd go to Sentinel for exercise and when it rained, solitude, and even though it is heavily used, there are a fair amount of hidden trails and less-used routes once you get beyond the M Trail.
When I was 20 or so I lived near the head of Lump Gulch, and one mountain I often visited and could have explored endlessly was Red Mountain. Red Mountain is one of the higher peaks in the Boulder Mountains. It provides Helena her drinking water, and can be seen to the south as you descend Macdonald Pass heading east. At the base of its western flank is the old town of Rimini, on its eastern flank is Chessman Reservoir. A flume traverses its steep scree slopes, and collects snowmelt, diverting it to Chessman. The flume is really cool, and soon will be given somewhat of an overhaul. At 8,150 ft on the summit, why Red Mountain got its name is apparent. You feel like you are on the surface of mars. What isn't scree is thick, beetle-killed lodgepole forest. Providing critters with excellent cover to disappear into.
The distant ridge on the right with the sun shining on it leads to the summit. Maybe this one doesn't count. My folks own a parcel of sagebrush in the upper Madison Valley. I've never had an address there, but I've spent months "living" on that chunk of country so I'm counting it. On the southern chunk of the Madison Range, the Madison River and Quake Lake form the northern boundary of a separate range - The Henry's Lake Mountains. I've played in these mountains a fair amount, and spent hundreds of summer evenings staring at one of this range's peaks in particular - and I've never stepped foot on it. Black Mountain is at the head of Mile Creek Canyon, and divides Montana and Idaho at its 10,237 ft summit. It's kind of dark and ominous, and supposedly can be a deceiving challenge to climb. Someday I'll get there, but I have spent so much time talking about it, observing it from camp, and thinking about it, that I feel close to it.
This is the Mountain I live by now. 6,300 ft will get you to the top. It once served as the source of a very profitable silver mine, and the remnants are still there. When I was younger I'd play among the ruins and shafts, and splashed in creeks that ran as orange and thick as orange juice. Significant reclamation has occurred, and access is increasingly difficult. The latter is a common theme among too many places I used to roam, and I'm not that old. I'll end it with a view not of the mountain, but from it, looking west into the Elkhorn Mountains, from the top of a pile of mine tailings.
Too many mountains. Too little time.