Winter Park, Colorado is located at 9,120 feet! The high elevation of the mountains in Colorado can cause a lot of problems for people who aren't used to the altitude. Here's our recommendations to help avoid the adverse effects on your body and get the most out of your time here:
1) Break Out Those Shades
Shades or sunglasses are not just for looking cool in the mountains. Sunglasses actually offer very important protection for your eyes from the damaging UV radiation. The UV radiation in the mountains is 36% higher than found at sea level. Wear your shades to protect your eyes from the glaring sun as it reflects off the snow. And don't forget, goggles can offer the same type of protection even though you think they might not look as cool.
2) Dry Climate = Dry Skin
When you come to Colorado, you'll notice that your skin may seem drier than at home. The high altitude sun and low humidity are to blame. Be sure to bring lotion and lip balm for a more comfortable and itch free vacation.
3) Block the Sun
Along with the high altitude comes intense sun beams and those damaging UV rays. Be sure to use sunscreen lavishly and we recommend 30 SPF. Re-apply often.
4) Water is Your Friend
Be sure to drink a lot of water when you are at our high altitude. If you don't drink enough water, you may bring on a headache which is associated with altitude sickness. By drinking lots of water, even though you may not be thirsty, you will push that headache away. Make sure that you do not drink alcohol instead of water, as alcohol can also bring on altitude sickness. Remember, water is your friend.
5) Eat Right
It is important to eat to avoid altitude sickness and that means consuming complex carbs. Complex carbs actually require less oxygen to metabolize and help you burn off a better ratio of oxygen to carbon dioxide, allowing you to use oxygen more efficiently. Plus carbohydrates will help maintain your energy level and the protein will help rebuild muscle. You'll appreciate that plate of pasta a little bit more the next day on the mountain.
6) Dress Smart
Bring layers of clothing as the temperatures will vary greatly from morning to evening and from day to day in Winter Park. It's not unusual to have a cool morning of 35 degrees and later in the day have it warm up to 80 degrees. A lightweight coat, sweater, and t-shirts are all a must. Long pants and shorts will serve you well to have some of each.
Please note that the above tips are tips only. For more details on high altitude tips, please contact you local family physician.
These tips will help make your next Winter Park vacation your best yet!