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Old 11-26-2012, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,385 posts, read 17,268,029 times
Reputation: 14010

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
...
Technically Colorado, averaging up all it's temps, is the coldest state in the lower 48. Sure you can have some beautiful, "warm" intense sun days in winter, but those are the exception rather than the rule. This isn't the tropics.
Do you have a link to back up that statement, wanneroo? I've heard of other states claiming that, and maybe it's all in how you "average" the temps, but I've never before heard of Colorado being the coldest, and it just doesn't seem to make much sense to me either. I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'd like to see how that "fact" was obtained. Very interesting, if accurate.


As an adult I lived in Iowa and Anchorage before settling in Wyoming, so I can compare them, along with Colorado.

I've heard *OF* people having trouble adjusting to the medium high elevations, but I've never personally heard from anyone who had trouble with it. If so, it would most likely be in the mountains, not at Denver's mile high elevation nor even Colorado Springs' 6,000 feet, but much higher than that and I'm sure problems would be more common. As a pilot of general aviation aircraft, I and my passengers sometimes suffered headaches after extended flights above 10K feet, and the FAA requires that commercial jets, etc. are pressurized to not more than 8K feet for normal operations.

Some people will have problems at elevation/altitudes, but those are normally people with known medical conditions.

One of the biggest concerns at higher elevations should be sun damage to your skin. There's lots of "atmosphere" between sea level and a mile high, and the lack of that can cause sunburns and irritations rather quickly. I've suffered some fairly bad sunburns in late winter/early spring months on Colorado's high ski slopes, where you not only get burned from the sun above, but also from its reflection off the snow -- just like a water skier/swimmer/fisherman burns on a lake.

As others have mentioned, high elevations/thin air also mean major shifts in air temperatures after the sun goes below the horizon. Drops of 30-40 degrees are not uncommon at all. Those in the mountains (or even high plains) need to be aware of this and have adequate clothing. Even August's hottest days are usually followed by cool nights, and in the mountains weather can change from daytime highs in the 80s to near freezing at night.

I've never noticed an increase in my endurance at lower elevations, but I've never competed. If anything, I suffer more because of higher heat and humidity and no summer breeze to cool.

I wouldn't agree that Colorado has similar winters to those in Canada, not for the most part. Temperatures drop with elevation at the rate of about 3.5 degrees F per 1000 feet, so the "standard" difference at any one location, just due to thinner air, would be about 35 degrees from sea level to 10K feet. At ground level on a sunny day, it won't be this much due to the warming sun -- a very HOT sun because of less atmosphere to block it, but at night it'll be there. And yes, the sun at high elevations can make quite a difference. I often see joggers wearing shorts when it's near zero, as long as the sun is out and there's not much wind, but let that sun go down and BRRRRRR! But unless you're comparing high elevation spots in Colorado with low elevation spots in Canada, or those influenced by coastal weather, Colorado is much warmer. The dry air helps with this too. Moist, humid air just feels colder. That's why swamp (evaporative) coolers work so well in dry climates.

Speaking of wind, you'll get much more of that at higher elevations. You just do. Pilots like to climb to high elevations to pick up favorable jet stream winds. Flying my small 4-place aircraft, I've enjoyed 100 mph tailwinds across the midwest at 9-13K ASL altitudes. Makes for a quick trip! Returning I'd stay lower, in rougher air, to avoid those strong winds. Compare a wind map to an elevation map and you'll see what I mean. Thin air travels faster -- just like a lanky runner can run circles around me.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:35 PM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,135 posts, read 21,785,809 times
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I didn't read all the posts so hope I am not repeating.

You need to watch out for the sun because you are closer to it. I ended up with a huge blister on my upper arm after being out for a short time.

My husband got nose bleeds when we first moved to Denver.

I didn't find cooking that much different except for making cakes. I think I remember adding more flour to cake mixes. The instructions were on the package.

We traveled from California and stopped in Flagstaff for the night. The doctor has me put on sunscreen first thing in the morning. I had a huge bottle of sunscreen and luckily opened it over the sink in the bathroom. About 1/3 of the bottle spilled out when the top came off. It could have really been a big mess if I had not been standing over the sink.

I noticed that I was short of breath in Flagstaff on this last trip. This was something new to me. Makes me realize my health is not as good as it used to be.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:29 PM
 
284 posts, read 615,067 times
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Not sure if this is true for all, but something I've discovered is that the altitude makes me feel fatigued a lot sooner than what I experience at lower altitudes. Growing up in Pueblo (4700 feet), I used to regularly stay up until 10:30 or 11:00 but once I moved to Durango (6500 feet), I started going to bed between 9:30 and 10:00. When I visit family in Pueblo, I'm always able to stay up until 10:30 or 11:00 without a problem.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Northern MN
3,869 posts, read 13,013,965 times
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When I lived in Gunnison Co. it did remind me of home.
Minnesota and North Dakota get so exceptionally cold in winter, that they place just behind Alaska for the lowest annual average temperature. The north-central states have temperatures in December and January that average about six degrees Fahrenheit (3 C) below those of the next chilliest states.



Technically Colorado, averaging up all it's temps, is the coldest state in the lower 48. Sure you can have some beautiful, "warm" intense sun days in winter, but those are the exception rather than the rule. This isn't the tropics.[/quote]
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:39 PM
 
Location: 80904 West siiiiiide!
2,930 posts, read 7,289,159 times
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Just drink a lot of water and you'll be fine. When I moved back here after being gone for some time back east, I got random nose bleeds for no reason.

But at 6000 feet, you aren't gonna notice that much of a difference.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Colorado
1,712 posts, read 3,030,712 times
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I know two people that moved because of altitude. One just couldn't get her breathing under control. Her doctor recommended a move back to lower altitudes. Another was due to headaches. Being at lower altitudes helped.

As far as day to day things? Not really, baking was difficult for a few months but then I figured out what I needed to do.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,021 posts, read 12,354,935 times
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I moved to Ridgway, elevation 7,000 from northwest Arkansas elevation 1,000 three years ago. There's a long thread here someplace about my adventures. Anyway, it took me about 2 weeks to adjust to the altitude, a few months to really get used to it. And I drank gallons of water. Winters are cold, but with the sunshine I was outside in either a long sleeve shirt or windbreaker at 22 degrees. The air is very dry and the sun is intense. We had a name for the local women who were outside all the time, lizardskins. I love to cook and it took me a while to figure out how to cook at that altitude also, trial and error.

Anyway, once I got used to the altitude I could run around and was fine. When I wandered to 12,000 feet or so, still got a little short of breath and light headed, but that went away after a few hours. The trick is WATER. Lots and lots of water.

I've heard of people who never got used to the altitude and moved away.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Sun City West, Arizona
21,838 posts, read 10,184,526 times
Reputation: 20009
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCN View Post
...

You need to watch out for the sun because you are closer to it. I ended up with a huge blister on my upper arm after being out for a short time.

...
Yes, you do have to be careful of the sun, but not sure why. Does anyone know? It's certainly not because you're closer...think about it...you're say 6,000 feet closer with a total distance of 93,000,000 miles.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Betwixt and Between
463 posts, read 976,353 times
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Because there is less atmosphere to filter out the UV rays. Also, the air here is pretty clean so there are less pollutants/particulate matter to block the UV.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:01 PM
 
Location: OKLAHOMA
1,783 posts, read 3,596,485 times
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Wow! My husband and I must not be the norm. I have higher energy and just feel healthier at anything over 6000 feet. I spend a few weeks a year in Chama, NM (8200), Trinidad, CO (6800) or Pagosa Springs (8000) and I seem to do just fine. Last Sept., my husband did get a nose bleed. I live in Eastern OK which is probably 1000 feet. One of the reason I want to move to higher elevation is the fact I feel healthier. I can't imagine why after reading this. We do a lot of hiking in Chama each year, I mean like 8 miles a day. Now, I have a ranch here in OK which I am hiking on all the time but I think it is the air in higher altitude that makes me feel healthier.
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