Many people visiting Aspen for the first time can be surprised by how much effect our high altitude has on them. Even seasonal residents who come back every year can take a little while to adjust. Remember that Aspen is located 7,908 above sea level. We have a high alpine climate, a lot of sunshine throughout the year and very low humidity.
You might be planning your visit to Aspen this spring, summer or fall for hiking, biking, climbing, golf, fly fishing and any number of outdoor activities in the mountains. Or, you could already be looking ahead to our next winter ski and snowboard season. It’s not a bad idea to get yourself mentally and physically prepared for the altitude adjustment. Here are a few good tips to keep in mind:
Don’t Push It
You will likely be excited when you arrive in Aspen. It’s tempting to go out there the very first day and go for a big hike on a mountain trail or tackle a black diamond run. Give yourself a day or two to get used to the high altitude. Your lungs need time to adjust to the low oxygen and your body will be able to recover faster once you are acclimated. If you are ever feeling extra winded, take a breather and rest up for a bit before continuing with any strenuous activities.
Remember to Hydrate
Hydration is always beneficial, especially when it comes to any outdoor activities. The high altitude will actually accelerate dehydration and it’s easy to forget to drink water and electrolytes when the mountain weather is so refreshing. Drink more than you think you need to and stay hydrated. Also be careful with adult beverages that can dehydrate you and slow down your body’s adjustment to higher elevations. Take it easy the first few days here!
People also underestimate how much the sun shines around here. We get sunshine almost every single day of the year, even in the middle of the winter season. Use sunscreen and layers to prevent sunburns. Bring your hats, lip balm, goggles and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes.
Don’t Forget to Breathe!
The biggest challenge of a high mountain altitude is the fact there is less oxygen in the air. Your lungs simply won’t take in enough oxygen with each breath. That’s why it takes some time to acclimate your body. There are some great oxygen bars around town and you may even want to pack along your own portable oxygen tank for a helpful hit now and again. OxygenNow is a wonderful local service that can bring oxygen to your door, along with other items that can help you overcome altitude sickness. The St. Regis Aspen Resort even has a special Altitude Concierge to provide personal oxygen services for their resort guests.
Be safe and be smart during your time in Aspen. The high altitude and low oxygen will take some time to get used to, so take it easy at first and then you will be able to fully enjoy everything our beautiful area has to offer!
Aspen Real Estate
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