altitude sickness in Breckenridge?

Old Apr 19th, 2005, 05:54 PM
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altitude sickness in Breckenridge?

I've been reading the strings of posts on altitude sickness with interest, since I'm planning a week-long trip to Colorado this summer. The cities I'm currently considering are Vail, Aspen, and Breckenridge. Breckenridge has the highest elevation of the three cities by far (I've read 9600 at base). I've also read that altitude sickness especially hits at altitudes above 9600, which has me worried about traveling to Breckenridge.

I'll be traveling with my sister; we're both in our 30's and relatively fit but not at all accustomed to high elevation (I live in NYC and she lives in LA). We're planning to do quite a bit of hiking at whatever destination we choose.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Would you recommend Aspen or Vail over Breckenridge?
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Old Apr 19th, 2005, 06:05 PM
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I live at sea level and traved to Breckenridge year and a half ago. The altitude sickness only bothered me the first day. My husband and I took it easy the first day - drank plenty of water, took rather "flat" hikes.

Breckenridge and Vail are both easy to get to from Denver (I am guessing that is where you are flying into). I personally like Breckenridge better than Vail during the summer months.
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Old Apr 19th, 2005, 06:08 PM
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You've got a couple of very different questions here. With respect to altitude sickness, take it easy the first day. Drink lots of water, take asprin, and stay away from caffeine and alcohol for the first day (or two). You may get winded very fast. You may get a headache. Worse case (and I've never had this problem after years of going from SF to Summit Co.) diamox is a Rx you can get to help.

Which place you pick depends a lot on what you want to do. Aspen will be the liveliest (and most expensive and fartherst from DIA). Breck is more of a town than Vail. Vail is likely to be a little quiet. All will have opportunities for hiking, bicycling, golf, tennis, etc. What specifically are you looking for?
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Old Apr 19th, 2005, 06:17 PM
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My sister and I are looking for a town/city that would offer us a couple of things: first, great hiking, and preferably hiking options that won't require us to do much driving. (I heard that Aspen would be a good choice for that since everything seems to be pretty compact there). Second, we're looking for a spot that might be of historical/cultural interest for sightseeing purposes. We'd also like to enjoy nice accommodations/good food (i.e., this won't be a "rugged" trip).
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 04:45 AM
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My husband and I visited Breckenridge last summer (we stayed in Vail) and did not have any trouble with altitude sickness. I was worried about it, but it wasn't a problem. We drank water and took an aspirin. We are in our early 50's and had never been to Colorado before.

By the way, the trip was awesome. We LOVED Vail and enjoyed our day in Breckenridge.

Have fun!
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 04:57 AM
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I spent a weekend at Breckenridge in the mid-80s and spent half a Sunday driving even higher in the Rockies. I did not experience altitude sickness even after spending to much time at a bar on Saturday night. Enjoy.
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 05:02 AM
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I've been to Vail or Breck three times in the last year and have had varying bouts of altitude sickness. The first time traveling to Vail last summer, we spent a couple of nights in Denver so that helped to acclimatize us. I only had a headache and some fatigue the first day. Easily controlled with tylenol. The second trip in October we went directly up to Breckenridge and even hiked the first day. I only had a slight headache at dinner. The third time this past winter, we traveled again directly up to Breck and suffered much more severely. My daughter was sick thoughout dinner on the way up and I was awake much of the night with a bad headache. An early morning walk in the fresh air was the best remedy for me. My theory is that the dryer air during the winter compounded our symptoms. I think if you stay active and outside it does help. If you do go to Breck, hike the Burro Trail beginning near the Super 6 and the Marriott. Coskier has also recommended the Colorado Trail in that area.
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 08:51 AM
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A friend went to Breckenridge in February had altitude sickness for about 3 days. But, then again, we live BELOW sea level so it's a bigger change than for most!
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Old Apr 20th, 2005, 09:08 AM
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It is so difficult to predict. My husband did not develop it until well into his late 40's--at Copper Mtn in CO--after taking many trips to high altitude locales intermittently from his early 20's on. We, nor his MD, know why it came on then. The good news and the bad news is that it tends to get worse w/each subsequent trip, so the 1st time is kind of a "warning shot" which allows one to prepare for subsequent trips. He now must take Diamox--a Rx drug--when he travels to high altitudes.

In answer to your second question--I *love* Aspen in the summer--all the great places in town, surrounded by incredible natural beauty for the hiking part--and it is a lower altitude.
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