You are here

How to Avoid Altitude Sickness

Jim Einhauser22 Dec 2015High Altitude Travel TipsPost a Comment

Here in the Town of Breckenridge, the thin air at 9,600 feet can be quite debilitating for some people. And, the Express Superchair at Breckenridge Ski Resort is the highest high-speed quad chairlift in the world, beginning at 11,901 feet and ending at 12,840 feet!

Here are a few tips and tricks to avoid the headaches and queasy feeling of altitude sickness. These tips will help ease your body through the physical shock of oxygen deprivation, aridity and a powerful sun. Common altitude sickness symptoms can affect anyone and include headaches, dizziness, loss of appetite, fatigue, insomnia and nausea.

To prevent the onset of any of these symptoms, you need to hydrate — so drink lots and lots of water. This will single-handily help your body replenish vital liquids needed at high altitudes. Avoid alcohol and caffeine (or at least consume moderately) as they actually dehydrate you. Replenish your body with good food as well. Foods rich in potassium are good for acclimatizing to high altitude. Other good choices are fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains and lean protein. Also, limit salt intake, as this dehydrates the body. 

And take it easy. Everything is harder to do things at altitude due to the lack of oxygen, so dial it back on the slopes and trail, as well as in the gym. If it’s sunny, wear a hat and keep yourself covered, as there is less water vapor in the air and you will dehydrate and burn very quickly. This also brings up another point: Always wear sunscreen!

Acclimatizing to altitude can take a few days or even weeks, but if you stay hydrated and “fuel up” properly, you will significantly reduce the risk of altitude sickness. If attempts to alleviate them don’t work, head to the nearest medical clinic for further assistance.

A few local businesses that can help alleviate altitude sickness:

To summarize:

  • Drink LOTS of water — more than you normally do
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
  • Eat healthy foods and avoid salt.
  • Avoid sun exposure.
  • Take it easy.
  • Utilize local businesses that help with altitude sickness.