It has been many years since I have enjoyed the awe of gazing across the Rocky Mountains. Adventuring at these altitudes takes some consideration. In preparation I spoke with Casey and Sarah (Classroom Worldwide's VP and Secretary) as they are both avid mountain climbers, I read several articles on the old interwebs, and I took a few test hikes to test out my gear and its configuration.
Erin and I left Raleigh yesterday morning (elevation 580 ft above sea level), landed in Denver Colorado (about 5,200), and then drove the final leg to Vail (about 8,100) - for those who have never been at these elevations it can be a humbling experience. The first thing that I noticed, and had been warned about, was that I was almost insatiably thirsty.
These minor discomforts aside, Erin and I joined our friends and family in Vail and enjoyed an evening of catching up, crazy stories and amazing food. Note, if in the area, you have to check out the Vail Ale House. Tired from our journey - you know sitting on a plane and watching movies - we were quick to bed.
The next morning, we woke up anxious to take on our majestic surroundings. After a hardy breakfast, I prepared our gear for our acclimation hike along the Gore Valley Trail. Although our planned hike only had an elevation change of 400 or 500 feet, it quickly became apparent that my mind was more interested in this excursion then my body was. I battled a slight headache and my lips felt constantly chapped. I also learned quickly that you can get sunburned much quicker at this altitude. The stunning views and some encouragement from Erin kept me going. We returned to the cabin for lunch and a little relaxation and to plan our next adventure.
So my advice for acclimating to such a drastic elevation change is simple: drink all of the of water you can, try to limit how much soda and alcohol you consume, rest often, bring your chap-stick, don't forget your sun block, and take it slow - the mountains will still be waiting for you in a couple of days!
See our upcoming blog on tackling the Booth Lake Trail.
The staff of Classroom Worldwide are all adamant travelers and adventures. This blog was designed to share our campfire stories of Races, Cruises, Costa Rican Adventures, and even climbing Mt Kilimanjaro.