9 Ways to Adapt Yourself to the Elevation in Breckenridge, CO
Breckenridge Elevation - 9,603 Feet
So, you're understandably excited to hit the slopes in Breckenridge, but do you worry you'll have a hard time adjusting to the elevation - or even get sick? Altitude sickness happens when your body doesn't adapt well to high altitudes. Since the air pressure is lower at high altitudes, your body may struggle to absorb much-needed oxygen. This can cause disorientation, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath and weakness. In severe cases people have been hospitalized.
There are many ways to get used to the altitude so you can still enjoy your getaway. Here are some tips to get acclimated so you can focus on having fun!
- Get Oxygen
A quick way to adapt to the elevation is to carry a portable oxygen canister, taking a shot or two whenever you feel winded. You can buy or rent oxygen concentrators in the Breckenridge resort, and the medical stations there will have oxygen on-site for sick skiers.
- Take it Easy
It's understandable that you're eager to hit the slopes, but take it slowly. Over-exerting yourself will only make it harder to adjust to the elevation. Try a low-impact activity on your first day, such as snowmobiling. Breckenridge offers many alternatives to skiing and snowboarding, so you can still enjoy yourself while you get acclimated to the altitude. If you are flying into Denver, consider flying in a day early and staying in Denver the first night. Denver's elevation is 5000ft. Sleeping overnight in Denver will acclimate your body to 5000ft before you make the ascent to 9000ft. This two-step altitude adjustment gives your body more time to adjust.
- Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of liquids. High elevations can cause fluid loss, so it's important to stay well hydrated. Stick with water or liquids that replace electrolytes. Avoid sugary or caffeinated beverages such as soda-pop. These liquids act as diuretics and can dehydrate you. Drink lots of water! Frequent urinating from consuming so much water is much better than laying in bed with a splitting headache.
- Eat Right
Stop in at Breckenridge's world-class restaurants to recharge. A meal high in carbohydrates will improve your body's ability to absorb oxygen, and will give you the energy needed to adjust to the elevation. Avoid salty foods - the sodium will increase your blood pressure, which can exacerbate the symptoms of altitude sickness. When we arrive in Summit County we like to eat at a place called "Noodles & Company". They have delicious noodles that are high in carbs.
- Take Your Vitamins
It's been shown that taking iron supplements makes it easier to perform aerobic activities (like skiing) at high elevations. Consult a doctor first, though - iron is toxic in high doses. Taking 120 mg of Ginko Biloba in the weeks leading up to your skiing getaway, and maintaining that dosage during your trip, can also reduce the time needed to adjust to the altitude.
One vitamin supplement that contains Nitric Oxide is available for over-the-counter purchased. It is called "Altitude Adapt" and helps your body combat altitude symptoms such as nausea, headache, fatigue, muscle soreness, and shortness of breath. Altitude Adapt is available here
- Hold the Beer
Alcohol and tobacco can impact your body's ability to absorb oxygen. Of course, it's hard not to indulge yourself when in beautiful Breckenridge, Colorado! Swing by the famous Breckenridge Brewery and knock-back a cold one once you feel acclimated to the elevation.
- Get Medicated
Drugs such as Diamox (Acetazolamide) can reduce the symptoms and duration of altitude sickness. Ideally, Diamox should be taken a few days prior to your trip, but it can also be used on the spot if you start feeling ill. Keep ibuprofen or acetaminophen on hand to prevent headaches.
- Descend to Sleep
Sleeping at a lower altitude makes it easier to adjust to the rarefied air of Breckenridge. You'll feel better and have more energy after a good night's sleep in a lodge at a lower elevation. Lodging is scattered all up and down the mountains, with some lodges being higher than 10,000 ft. As a matter of fact when olympic ski teams contact us to book a stay the first question is always what elevation we are at. The Ski Silverthorne lodge is at the bottom of Buffalo Mountain at around 8,500 ft.
- If All Else Fails
If you've feeling ill, descend to a lower elevation and work your way back up to the resort gradually. Sometimes the best remedy is simply time. While no one wants to lose out on a day's fun, you'll feel even worse if your whole trip is wrecked due to prolonged illness.
To rent, call 318.272.0951 or e-mail