High Alpine Safety
Sun Safety - Apply and Re-Apply
The Colorado high country enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year, so sun protection is important. The increased mountain elevations mean you’re closer to the sun, and therefore your skin is exposed to more radiation. Plus, the sun’s reflection off of fresh white snow is more powerful than you might think, and ultraviolet rays can penetrate clouds even on overcast days. To ensure you and your family and friends have a fun and safe day on the slopes, remember these sun safety tips.
- Apply generous amounts of SPF 30+ sunscreen on exposed skin every two hours. Don’t forget your ears!
- Wear goggles or sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection.
- Wear pants, long sleeves, and gloves, even on warm days.
What to look for in sunblock:
- SPF 30 or higher
- Broad Spectrum
- Zinc Oxide, titanium dioxide or both
Hydration – Drink Plenty of Fluids
Hydration is important, even in winter. When you combine high altitude, wind, sun, and physical exertion, your body uses and loses lots of fluids. A good tip is to drink before you get thirsty. Try to drink plenty of water before skiing and snowboarding, drink small amounts while you’re on the slopes, and replenish once your day is done. Dehydration can lead to early fatigue and staying well hydrated will actually help to keep your body warmer and reduce the effects of altitude.
Avoid Altitude Sickness
For some guests, the transition from lower elevations to the high country can lead to altitude sickness. It’s believed that this is the body’s response to lower levels of oxygen and changes in air pressure. Altitude sickness can occur within hours, or even after a couple of days in the mountains. Symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, or sleep disturbances. To avoid altitude sickness, exercise in moderation when first arriving in the high country. Other suggestions are to eat food high in carbohydrates such as grains, pasta, fruits, and vegetables, and avoid salty foods. Limit alcohol consumption, and drink plenty of water.