We are at 9,000 feet in Crested Butte so you will feel the altitude. Tips for preventing altitude-hurt:

  1. It’s mostly about water, and your cells take time to lose their water (which is when you feel it). They also take time to re-absorb water, so you can’t just drink a glass and fix it. Prep by starting to drink water early and during your travel. It’s worth having to stop and pee more often while you’re heading up from Denver.

  2. The health food store (across the street from Camp4 Coffee (the Parish Hall is behind Camp4) has this stuff called “Accli-mate” that’s supposed to help. Maybe it does, it’s “alternative” so you never know for sure.

  3. Apply sunscreen to any exposed parts of skin. Without it, you won’t get tanned, you’ll get burned, and it can happen when you least expect it. Ideally, do it when you get out of the shower. And if you are skiing in the mid-day, put sunscreen inside the exposed parts your nostrils to avoid a particularly painful burn.

  4. Bring lip balm that’s got SPF-15 sunscreen, and apply regularly. It’s easy for lips to get chapped and/or burned.

  5. Nasal comfort: It’s super dry at altitude and that messes with your nasal cavities. If you have a neti pot, bring that (they’re usually available at the Crested Butte health food store and sometimes even the grocery store, but bring your own to be sure). That brings a lot of relief. I’ve recently discovered that A&D ointment works wonders (with or without a neti pot) if you regularly apply it to the inside of your nose using your little finger. This seems to prevent most of the problems.

  6. Ibuprofen/Advil. I can’t point you to them but apparently recent studies have shown Ibuprofen to be quite effective when taken at the first indications of an altitude headache. This agrees with my own experience. We will have a bottle at the Parish Hall but it’s worth keeping a couple in your pocket and if you feel the slightest headache take them (don’t try to tough it out or hope it will go away). By catching it early (and of course continuing your water regimen) you can head it off.

  7. There is a store with hyperbaric chambers on Elk Avenue (our main street) if you start feeling too uncomfortable.

  8. Warm clothing. Even in the summer it’s possible to get to places that are cold. At night the temperature often plummets so a T-shirt day can easily become a jacket-and-warm-hat night. Although you can sometimes get away with shorts, you’ll usually end up wearing long pants.