Ameriprise Financial: Reaching Your Summit


Golden Key International Honour Society, founded on 29 November 1977, is an academic honor society which recognizes and encourages scholastic achievement and excellence among college and university students from all academic disciplines.

Pete Athans: Learning from an expedition leaders’ adventures on Everest

Pete Athans, nicknamed “Mr. Everest,” didn’t reach the summit of the world’s highest peak on his first climb, or his second, or even his third.Pete Athans Facebook Image He was turned back by violent weather, equipment failure and plain bad luck. It wasn’t until his fifth attempt in 1990, that he reached the top. “I learned how not to climb Everest on four expeditions,” he says. Read about Pete’s journey in the Ameriprise Financial digital magazine.
Pete has learned valuable lessons on his journey towards the summit. As you’ll read in the article, you can find out what climbing a mountain – and returning home again – can teach you about preparing financially for you future.

4 Financial Tips from the Top of Mount Everest

1. Way up, way down: The rules are different

Most climbers concentrate solely on the ascent to the top, but the peak is merely the half-way point. What if the climber uses too much oxygen on the way up and does not have enough for the descent? Athans says, “Ultimately you have to pace yourself and have the patience, discipline and self-knowledge to know that you have enough juice to get back down”.

2. Manage risks at high altitude

Obstacles on Mount Everest strike often and erratically. Climbers cannot set a schedule and expect to abide by it- a contingency plan is necessary. Teams must be capable of dealing with uncertainty.

3. Depend on the experts

When climbing, especially in extreme conditions, one’s performance can diminish without noticing, but the team can see it. The Sherpas that climb with Athan’s team are the safety net when the team’s performance weakens- they rope off the course and set up the ladders to cross the deep crevasses. You have to have specialists for when times get tough.

4. Have a checklist: Your life depends on it

Successfully climbing Mount Everest is dependent on the initial preparation of worst case scenarios. This means preparing for the physical distress, acclimation and altitude. Know what you are going up against and plan out steps to achieve your goal.

Watch this video to see what mountain climbing and retirement have in common:

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About Golden Key

Golden Key is the world's largest collegiate honor society. Membership into the Society is by invitation only and applies to the top 15% of college and university sophomores, juniors and seniors, as well as top-performing graduate students in all fields of study, based solely on their academic achievements. As an international honor society with more than 400 chapters at colleges and universities around the world, Golden Key is committed to a high standard of scholastic achievement, and an ethos of integrity, innovation, respect, collaboration and diversity.