David Roeske will destroy your preconceptions of hedge fund managers as alpha dogs with a taste for luxury.
Not only is he only the third person to have reached the summit of two Himalayan mountains — Mount Everest and Cho Oyu — higher than 8,000 meters (26,000 feet) without oxygen in one trip, but he's also self-effacing about his accomplishment.
“Humility is the correct reaction, not pride,” said Mr. Roeske during an interview in the Manhattan office of long/short equity hedge fund manager Lyrical Asset Management LP, where he is an associate portfolio manager.
Mr. Roeske attempted an Everest climb without oxygen in 2013, but hypoxia forced him to use supplemental oxygen to reach the top of the world's tallest mountain.
Although he described his first Everest ascent to be “like a religious experience,” Mr. Roeske was determined to accomplish the feat without oxygen. To do that, he trained harder, climbing the stairs in his apartment building in four-hour stints with a 30-pound pack on his back.
Mr. Roeske ascended 26,906 feet to the peak of Cho Oyu on May 7, 2015, and then a little more than two weeks later, negotiated the 29,029-foot climb to Everest's summit. Oxygen wasn't needed for either ascent.
“After Everest, I realized that I want to be much more conscious of people who have had difficulties throughout their lives — disability, disaster, disappointment, illness. I want to encourage people to overcome the Everest in their lives,” Mr. Roeske said.
Lyrical manages $5.2 billion in hedge fund and long-only equity strategies.