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Old 01-13-2012, 05:45 PM
 
590 posts, read 2,018,612 times
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A low percentage of the population experiences some side effects of the higher elevation until their bodies acclimate. My co-worker is a non-smoker in his 20's and had to take some medication for a few weeks when he first moved out here. We are office workers.

Since you are driving, I would like to mention a few things about your car. First, it can be VERY windy on the plains and in Colorado. If you feel your car pulling left or right it is probably the wind blowing it that way. If you feel like you suddenly have no power, you may be suffering the effects of a very strong headwind, or the high altitude, or both. In higher elevations, unless you car is supercharged or turbocharged, you will have less power than at sea level.

Alcohol is another point. I don't know if you drink, but keep in mind that your body will feel the affects of alcohol faster at higher elevations. The higher you go the faster it affects you. Liquor stores carry full strength beer, wine, and hard liquor. Gas stations & grocery stores only carry "3.2" beer which has a lower alcohol content.
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:31 PM
 
9,817 posts, read 19,091,875 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmic Artifact View Post
arrgh! I want to see it all!

there is so much and more keeps popping up, I'm overwhelmed really. I have been wondering about the acclimation thing, does that apply to driving into the state on I70? I hope I don't get sick driving. I have read about the Mountains and they say to go to 3500ft and spend the day then take it further the next day ect ect... I do smoke but not heavily like when I was younger, maybe 3 or 4 smokes a day (I'm a Mechanic!) I have been on this 3or4 after coffee or a meal for years now but I know it will probably still effect me.

do you guys figure coming into Colorado driving I will get effected by it? I've been a few feet below sea level here in Arlington since I was 9yrs old! I have been to the highest point on Skyline Drive more than a few times and I didn't feel anything different except maybe I could hear better I think.
I was up on Skyline Drive last year and it's child's play compared to Colorado.

The older you are and taking on detrimental things like smoking, as well as your fitness level, the more you will struggle with altitude.

It is impossible for anyone here to tell you exactly how you will cope and if they do, I can assure you they don't know what they are talking about. Everyone is different, with different aerobic abilities and medical issues, as your basic genetic makeup as a person. Most people are fine or find ways to cope, a few unfortunately have a medical emergency.

I've seen people have issues just with Denver alone, not just the mountains.

I remember in Vail, there would always be several heart attack fatalities every year of fit males in their 50's(typically), who would come up and exert themselves as they do at sea level and then their heart would call it quits at the higher elevation.

You'll especially notice it up in the mountains if you do any type of exertion, such as lifting or hiking. You might notice it at night sleeping. Or even at rest you'll notice shortness of breath. Depends.

Altitude sickness can affect anyone, at any time.

A lot of people also say you can adjust within a day or 2. It varies for everyone. When I lived at 8000 ft and I went away for a month or two, I noticed some adjustment after 2 days, but it took me a full week to feel in the groove. Talking to others, you get different opinions, everyone is different, some feel fine right away, some in a day or so, some in a week or month, some never feel fine.

So with Colorado you will be dealing with a climate much drier than anything you know, with a thin atmosphere with less oxygen as well as more intense UV rays and sunlight than you are used to.

My recommendation is this:

1. Spend a day or two at lower elevation near Denver or CO Springs.
2. Drink plenty of water. The air is thin and dry and every breath you take in Colorado takes moisture right out of your lungs.
3. At night open a window a tiny, tiny crack to let air circulate. Because of the thin air a lot of flatlanders when sleeping will constantly gasp and snore trying to keep up. I find a lot of buildings in CO are so well insulated from the cold they don't "breathe" well, so air gets stale. A little crack in the window will let some fresh air circulate at night.
4. Don't over exert yourself. By that I mean if your heart starts pounding, stop and let it catch up and have a rest for a minute.

I would just follow the rule not to push it if you don't feel well and descend to a lower elevation as well. Where people get in trouble is when they push themselves and then they end up in the hospital.

It's not something to worry yourself senseless over, but something to keep in mind, respect and be aware of.
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:41 PM
 
9,817 posts, read 19,091,875 times
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Originally Posted by mic111 View Post
On another topic, an earlier post mentioned the hand warmers (air activated) for your emergency kit. They are a great idea. I also like the ThermaCare Wraps. If for some reason your car breaks down in the cold they provide over 8 hrs of warmth.
ThermaCare Pain Relieving Air Activated Heat Wraps, 2ct - Walmart.com
Reason why I recommend those is because I've had to change tires a few times in 0F or lower temps. Trying to manipulate tools and tires or whatever is difficult if your hands are frozen rocks. Even to this day when I am outside with vehicles doing training all day in the winter, I have an activated one in each jacket pocket and every so often I can reach in and make a fist around one and get some warmth in my gloved hands.

They are cheap, you can get a big box of them at Wal Mart for next to nothing, they don't take up much space, they don't require any power source or flame and they are disposable. It's all a win win.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Arlington, Va
236 posts, read 396,568 times
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I am in ok fitness condition, I sling engines and transmissions all day... Neither I or Wendy drink though I have done it before, I just do not like that feeling. One of those oxygen devices may me a good idea for an emergency kit (hoping I can find a pretty good kit as I near so I don't have to piece everything together) I am also working half day tomorrow but we did get some things in order, I am going to to be stopping a bit along the way because I am sure I will think of things I forgot as I near.

Everything being posted is very valuable to me, I would have just started out and figured I would get what I need when I get there but I could face some challenges across the plains which does have my attention, least we're not in tornado season (I don't think) I know it's pathetic but what did the guys back in the late 1800 do? they would have found this log priceless...

I am 38 and Wendy is a couple years older, she's never smoked... I am more worried about 13lb Laika so I will be taking it nice and easy and keeping a close eye on her. I just can't leave my kid behind for that long even with my family... I am effected by it It looks like I will be gaining elevation pretty quick as Mike from back east has shown with that informative post. I will be keeping a close eye on things specially when I venture Bear Lake road. (which by the way seems to be the highest altitude I can get up north during off season?)
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Old 01-14-2012, 04:43 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
12,857 posts, read 23,345,371 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmic Artifact View Post
It looks like I will be gaining elevation pretty quick as Mike from back east has shown with that informative post. I will be keeping a close eye on things specially when I venture Bear Lake road.
As long as you don't go literally running around at those heights, you will more than likely be fine. I didn't feel that great at the top of Pike's Peak when I went (it kinda felt like my forehead caved in, but otherwise I was fine), but at the summit of Trail Ridge Rd in RMNP, I was completely fine.

I haven't gotten out to walk around at the Eisenhower Tunnel or Vail Pass, but those are both over 10K feet as well.

The trip down I-70 between Kansas City and Denver is interesting (figuratively, not literally ). You gain 4500 feet in elevation, but it's pretty much varying degrees of flat the whole way, aside from the Flint Hills near Manhattan, KS.
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Old 01-14-2012, 10:23 AM
 
2,464 posts, read 3,299,262 times
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Default traveling with dogs

When we travel into the mountains with our dogs we feed them canned food for the high moisture content. In addition I still add some bottled water to make it more soupy. If you feed dry food you can add water to it also which should help her stay more hydrated. She will probably be so excited by all the sights and smells that she may not drink enough on her own because she won't realize how much she is losing to the dry air.

We find that if we get paper bowls that fit into the dog dish then we just use a new one each time and toss it afterwards. That way we don't have to wash the dish.

For motion sickness bring the spice Ginger from your pantry. It works on dogs and people. If your dog gets motion sick on some of the curvy twisty roads sprinkle some on a treat or on her meals in the morning before starting out and it will help.
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Old 01-15-2012, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Arlington, Va
236 posts, read 396,568 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mic111 View Post
When we travel into the mountains with our dogs we feed them canned food for the high moisture content. In addition I still add some bottled water to make it more soupy. If you feed dry food you can add water to it also which should help her stay more hydrated. She will probably be so excited by all the sights and smells that she may not drink enough on her own because she won't realize how much she is losing to the dry air.

We find that if we get paper bowls that fit into the dog dish then we just use a new one each time and toss it afterwards. That way we don't have to wash the dish.

For motion sickness bring the spice Ginger from your pantry. It works on dogs and people. If your dog gets motion sick on some of the curvy twisty roads sprinkle some on a treat or on her meals in the morning before starting out and it will help.
great ideas! I dunno about too much canned food but I will see somehow if I can make her water more tempting.

again everyone... much appreciated for the reply's

Joe Walsh - Rocky Mountain Way (Studio Version) - YouTube
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,946 posts, read 8,958,661 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Here's a little information on altitude sickness.

Acute mountain sickness - PubMed Health

There's acute and there's chronic. Acute's easy to deal with and not much of a concern. Chronic condition is definitely a big concern as it can be risky to your health. Worthwhile being aware of this distinction. Fitness has nothing to do with it. Chronic adverse reaction to high elevation has genetic causes.
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,946 posts, read 8,958,661 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by md21722 View Post

Alcohol is another point. I don't know if you drink, but keep in mind that your body will feel the affects of alcohol faster at higher elevations.
Which is why it's awesome to throw a couple beers in the backpack when heading out for a hike
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Old 01-16-2012, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,128 posts, read 99,305,179 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
There's acute and there's chronic. Acute's easy to deal with and not much of a concern. Chronic condition is definitely a big concern as it can be risky to your health. Worthwhile being aware of this distinction. Fitness has nothing to do with it. Chronic adverse reaction to high elevation has genetic causes.
From the link about acute altitude sickness:

Complications
•Coma

•Fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema)

•Swelling of the brain


These are definitely serious problems.
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