Although sharing some of the values, principles and objectives of alpine clubs and environmental organisations, Mountain Wilderness differs from both. Mountain Wilderness was founded by mountaineers and places more emphasis on the human experience of the wilderness than on the exclusive protection of wildlife, for its own sake. Even in the most remote mountain regions, there are fewer and fewer pristine wilderness areas, strictly speaking. Contrary to what one would be led to believe, Mountain Wilderness does not focus on such pure, pristine wilderness. Nearly all mountain landscapes and, to an even higher degree, the perception of mountains by humans, bear a strong cultural imprint. Thus, Mountain Wilderness’ mission is to preserve the natural and cultural mountain heritage, in three complementary ways:
- by promoting activities and practices that foster self-reliance, respect for nature and the shared enjoyment of mountains by everyone who loves them;
- by opposing aggressive activities, such as recreational off-roading, snowmobiling, heli-skiing, and more generally the commercialisation, overdevelopment and exclusive appropriation of mountains for the sole purpose of exploiting them;
- by fostering in mountain areas a development that is respectful of their natural and cultural heritage, so as to ensure a sustainable future for all their inhabitants.