John Leitch, manager-pension assets at Schlumberger Ltd., New York, and Seth Rosenberg, president, Cotswold Management, Scarsdale, N.Y., deal every day with a long-term problem where success or failure can be determined only over many years - investing pension assets.
That, perhaps, is one of the reasons they climb mountains in their spare time. Climbing mountains, Mr. Leitch notes, presents a short-term problem that provides a physical and mental challenge where success or failure is determined in a matter of days.
Earlier this year the two investment executives attempted to climb the difficult east peak of Antisana, a 19,000-foot volcanic mountain in Ecuador. Their attempt was defeated by continuous rain, sleet, hail, snow and fog for the six days of their climb.
It was fog that finally halted them as they crossed a crevasse-riddled glacier at 17,800 feet. "We couldn't see where we were going," said Mr. Rosenberg. Continuing the climb was too dangerous.
Though the conditions were miserable and they did not succeed, both men said the experience was satisfying.
And they're not about to give up on Antisana.
They hope to make another attempt at the end of this year. "December to February is supposed to be the dry season," Mr. Leitch said. "We may try earlier in the season."