While some lucky people do just fine with high altitudes, many will notice at least some altitude effects when visiting Lodge by The Blue.
Breckenridge itself sits about 9,600 feet above sea level, and when hitting the chairlifts and slopes, you may get up to 13,000 feet.
According to research from the Mayo Clinic, there is a range of mild to serious altitude illnesses you could experience. They also emphasize that being prepared can spare you a world of hurt!
Symptoms of Altitude Sickness
Some symptoms are normal and will probably improve as you acclimate. Here are some of the most common symptoms:
- Inability to sleep
- Stomach problems
- Fatigue or weakness
- Pins and needles sensation
- Persistent rapid pulse
- Shortness of breath upon exertion
How to Prepare
Spend a night in Denver if possible, or at a lower elevation, to help your body start getting used to a little altitude at a time.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: drier conditions at high altitudes dehydrate the body faster, so drink a lot of water and stay off alcohol and caffeine as much as possible in the first day or two.
Get fit before your trip. Being in shape can help your resilience to altitude symptoms. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, avoid maximum physical exertion in the first day or two.
Limit time in hot tubs. You don’t have to skip them, just don’t stew in them too long – again, the dehydration thing. When you are in the hot tub, have plenty of water with you to drink.
Eat carbs! Yes, this is the one time when more carbs are good for you. Eat frequent and small meals high in carbohydrates and low in fat and protein. When you’re exercising and it’s cold AND there’s not as much oxygen, your muscles crave glucose. Carbs will help keep your energy up and you’ll burn them because your body is under a lot of stress to maintain basic functions.
Get plenty of rest.
Eat dinner at least 3-4 hours before bedtime. Allowing your body time to digest foods before going to bed helps it focus on the transportation of oxygen.
Small disposable oxygen canisters can be purchased at most convenient stores or gas stations in the area.
You don’t have to limit all your fun. The O2 Lounge in Breckenridge’s La Cima Mall is an internet café, coffee shop and a place to breathe easier with 15-, 30- and 45-minute oxygen sessions in-store.
Altitude sickness can be inconvenient, unexpected and sometimes expensive in both time and money. We advocate prevention so you can fully enjoy your Rocky Mountain experience!
Have you ever suffered altitude sickness? What recommendations do you have for preventing or treating?