6 Simple High Altitude Travel Tips

12798932_1274682859215417_7066206546224187880_nCrested Butte sits at an altitude of 8,885 feet and the Mt. Crested Butte base area is at 9,375 feet. Take a look around and you’ll notice at least a few surrounding mountains that are higher. Most people won’t suffer from altitude sickness when they visit, but take note of some of the symptoms: fatigue, lack of appetite, and headaches. Follow these tips to ensure you feel your best:

Hydrate like it’s your job

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The best way to acclimatize to the high altitude is to start drinking plenty of water before and during your trip. The air is drier in Crested Butte versus sea level, so you’ll be losing moisture with every breath. Acli-Mate Natural Sports Drink (think Emergen-C for altitude) or coconut water can also assist by providing electrolytes for hydration. Bonus tip: They’re great for fighting hangovers at any elevation.

Easy on the booze

This might be the toughest tip for some of you, especially with so many delicious and original drinks Crested Butte has to offer.  Although the spirits may seem stronger, the truth is they just pack more punch than if you had them at sea level. Try to limit yourself to a drink or two less than usual for the first few days of the trip.

Dial it down on your activities

There’s a reason the Denver Broncos are so dominant at home (besides the retired sheriff). The altitude makes exertion and recovery more challenging. Try opting for easier ski runs down the mountain or going for a shorter hike if it’s your first or second day here.

Wear protection

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Higher elevations mean less atmosphere between you and the sun.  In the winter, the snow can reflect up to 80% of UV radiation. Be sure to wear a higher SPF sunblock and protect any exposed skin. If there’s one thing you don’t want, it’s leathery mountain skin.

Dress like an onion

unspecified140 degree temperature swings are not uncommon here.  You might be comfortable or even toasty during the day (especially in the sun), only to get chilled at night. Having a few layers will ensure you won’t get caught out in the cold. For winter time, check out these tips.

Extend your trip

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That’s right! The wondrous human body will adapt to most of the imposed demands of high altitude over the course of a few days. The longer you stay in Crested Butte, the more acclimatized you’ll be and the better you’ll perform. So, just move here and you’ll be fine. Bonus: Traveling back to lower elevations will result in superhuman-like powers for a couple days.

Any of your own tips? Let us know in the comments!

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