Great story. I see this as an issue of how much “margin” you have in your activation. Certainly, for many activations, a 2WD vehicle is just fine. The further you get off the main roads, the more capable of a vehicle you should have. When you add in the “oh, I think I’ll try a summit that I did not really plan for” that raises the stakes.
This applies to the hiking/climbing part of the journey as well. How many miles and vertical feet can you normally handle on a good day? Can you push yourself to do more? But what if you are having a bad day (physically) or the weather is abnormal? Is 2 liters of water sufficient, or do I need more?
I’ve been trying to train myself to take a bit more gear, a more capable vehicle, etc. in case I encounter unforeseen obstacles, equipment failure, adverse weather or a change of plan.
More margin in the system.
73, Bob K0NR