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LauraK_08 Nov 20th, 2019 07:54 PM

CT -> Denver -> Colorado Springs | Altitude Sickness Tips
My fiance and I are getting married in Colorado Springs and it will be our first trip to Colorado. We are coming from sea level, flying into Denver and then driving an hour to Colorado Springs once we land (same day). Iíve read some pretty crazy articles about altitude sickness and am lowkey freaking out about it lol I heard you should stay in Denver your first night to acclimate, but given time constraints of our ceremony we have to drive straight to Colorado Springs from Denver (is this bad?) If anyone has any firsthand advice on how to avoid altitude sickness during our trip it would be much appreciated!

janisj Nov 20th, 2019 08:34 PM

Colorado Springs is barely 6,000 feet. If you are at all healthy you should have no problems of any sort.

ps: CS is only a little higher than Denver -- like 500-600 feet. So hanging round Denver wouldn't accomplish anything much at all

starrs Nov 20th, 2019 09:11 PM

Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water.
Aspirin can help.

There's no rhyme nor reason as to who is affected.

sludick Nov 21st, 2019 04:04 AM

I live at sea level (Florida) and one of our main regional offices is in Denver. The moment I walk in, somebody hands me a bottle of water and won't speak to me until I down it all. ;) This was after my first couple of visits where I would develop a raging headache within a day of being at that altitude. So yes - stay hydrated. Drink water when you aren't even thirsty. Avoid alcohol, or at least drink much less than you might at sea level. Aspirin does help.

The notion that 6,000 ft. or even 5,000 ft. shouldn't give you problems is erroneous. As somebody who grew up at sea level, I have always, always, felt the change of altitude. Even 1,000-2,000 feet was enough to trigger a migraine until I became acclimated.

Gretchen Nov 21st, 2019 04:09 AM

OUr son was married in Denver and had lived there. We had many friends coming from the east along with his wedding friends. Alcohol in excess is NOT your friend the first few days and water IS your friend the entire time you are there. He spent the afternoon of the rehearsal dinner in the ER with a friend who did not heed his advice. So the message to your close family and attendants, just be smart about how you pace yourselves.
As said, there is no rhyme or reason for altitude sickness and the individual. But aspirin and WATER WATER WATER.

emalloy Nov 21st, 2019 06:13 AM

Great advice so far, and start drinking lots of water now. On the plane, ask for bottled water, not alcohol.

Melnq8 Nov 21st, 2019 06:17 AM

Here in Colorado 5,200-6,000 feet is small potatoes, but some visitors do seem to struggle. But...I'd be absolutely gobsmacked if anyone really felt a difference in altitude between Denver and Colorado Springs.

As mentioned above, your best defense is water...lots of it. And start drinking it before you even get on the plane. You need about twice as much water here as you'd drink at home.

Alcohol packs more of a wallop here than at sea level - curb your intake or avoid altogether.

Eat foods high in potassium.

Watch your physical activity - the affects of exercise are more intense here. Start slowly.

Pack for sun - bring sunglasses, sunscreen and lip balm, even in winter.

Congratulations! Have fun!

Nelson Nov 21st, 2019 07:25 AM

> I heard you should stay in Denver your first night to acclimate

Ditto all that was said above, especially staying hydrated.

The advice given to stay in Denver for a night is typically directed at people who are heading up to a mountain town, where the elevation is several thousand feet higher than Denver or Colorado Springs.

You'll be fine, have a great trip.

janisj Nov 21st, 2019 08:42 AM

The others are right. I should have mentioned the lots of water and stay away from alcohol for a day or two. I didn't mean to imply you wouldn't 'feel' anything but that if you are normally healthy the worst you are likely t feel is a headache -- but Denver and CS are essentially the same elevation (or at least as altitude sickness is concerned) so you shouldn't be concerned . . . I'd personally be more concerned about getting married someplace I'd never ever visited. ;)

starrs Nov 21st, 2019 09:10 AM

Originally Posted by Nelson (Post 17019368)

The advice given to stay in Denver for a night is typically directed at people who are heading up to a mountain town, where the elevation is several thousand feet higher than Denver or Colorado Springs.

You'll be fine, have a great trip.


It also gives your body time to adjust before strenuous exercise = hiking, skiing, etc. For a wedding, less of a concern.

Again, there's no way to know who it may hit. Age, size, fitness level, etc. doesn't seem to matter. It almost seems random and hopefully no one in your party will be affected.

If you have older guests attending, there's always a chance they may have a more difficult time catching their breath. It's the lower oxygen levels.

Destination weddings are VERY common. Nothing to worry about about getting married in a new (to you) location.

janisj Nov 21st, 2019 09:22 AM

I guess smileys aren't enough . . . sigh :(

Brian_in_Charlotte Nov 21st, 2019 01:43 PM

Don't let people on the internet scare you. Unless you have some health condition or are very out of shape (like many people who post religiously here) you'll be fine. Earlier this year we flew to Denver and drove straight up to 12,000 feet and then back down to stay at around 8,400 feet. I won't tell you we didn't notice a difference in the air at 12,000 but were able to do some hiking up there and noticed no effects at all at 8.400 feet. We did take the advice to stay more hydrated than normal but didn't lose our heads over it.

starrs Nov 21st, 2019 01:52 PM

Originally Posted by Brian_in_Charlotte (Post 17019571)
We did take the advice to stay more hydrated than normal but didn't lose our heads over it.

Not sure who is "losing their heads over it". Well, the OP did express concerns in her post.

I'm not sure what posts you've read on this thread but the ones I've read have recommended to stay hydrated, don't drink too much, and aspirin may help.

Seems like pretty reasonable input to me. It's only hit me once and that's about 30 years ago when I was much younger, much thinner and hiked often. We were backpacking in a national forest outside of Estes Park so used the YMCA of the Rockies as a base for a few days first. There is no rhyme nor reason as to who will be affected - IF anyone IS affected.

tom_mn Nov 22nd, 2019 06:26 AM

Originally Posted by sludick (Post 17019321)
.... stay hydrated. Drink water when you aren't even thirsty.

This is unsound advice. The body knows when intake of water is necessary and overruling the thirst cue can lead to hyponatremia and its serious complications, even death. "Don’t Force Fluids. Drink When You Are Thirsty."

I know someone who lost normal use of a limb due to rhabdomyolysis (liquefaction of muscle tissue) during recovery from hyponatremia, brought about just by drinking too much water.

OP: Complications at 6000 ft, other than getting winded climbing stairs and carrying luggage, is too uncommon to worry about.

Gretchen Nov 22nd, 2019 08:30 AM

I PROMISE you that you cannot get in trouble drinking too much over the period of a wedding. BUT I DO promise you that you CAN get in trouble if you don't.

Jean Nov 22nd, 2019 08:52 AM

No (or much less) alcohol at one's own wedding?? Well, that's :-(

FWIW, we drive from sea level to Vail (8000+ feet) every winter. The gradual rise in elevation helps, and I don't usually suffer from altitude sickness, but I have a terrible time sleeping no matter what I do.

What time of year is your wedding?

Christina Nov 22nd, 2019 10:58 AM

I live at sea level and go skiing at Breckenridge which is much higher than that and I never do any of these tips and have never had a problem nor "felt it." I go right from the airport to Breckenridge and ski the next day, and I don't drink any more water than I normally would, and I don't avoid alcohol. I go to Lake Tahoe about every year, also, and that's about the same as Co Springs at the base and have never felt anything and I go to Aspen every year or two and ditto my preparation and experience. I'm not out of shape but I'm no super athlete and I'm middle-aged.

I am surprised you even were searching this and concerned about it. that isn't really that high. I don't usually drive but I have also gone skiing at Park City and drove right from the airport and that's over 4000 feet.

Gretchen Nov 22nd, 2019 12:19 PM

Anything can happen to anyone at any time. We often went directly to Vail and other than short of breath didn't have a problem. Might visit son tiwice a year and a few times I did have altitude sickness. But if people ARE concerned because they have heard about ill effects, it really down't hurt to tell experiences. To my knowledge no one gets paid to give or take advice here.
And as a matter of fact, our son DOES drink so much water that his father in law (a highly respected doctor in Denver) warned him about it!! But never happened. Lifestyles are all different.

Connie59 Nov 22nd, 2019 12:44 PM

If you don't have problems on the plane that's only pressurized to the equivalent of around 10,000 feet or something, you shouldn't have problems in Denver. I've been to that area several times and I've never had any issues even in the mountains around seven or eight thousand feet, and I also live at sea level. I wouldn't worry about it too much.

Nelson Nov 22nd, 2019 02:48 PM

Originally Posted by Jean (Post 17020006)
No (or much less) alcohol at one's own wedding?? Well, that's :-(

Yeah, I was thinking that too. I've had problems with alcohol at altitude but that was at 10,000', combined with dehydration and over-exertion. Most likely the OP and their guests can have a bit of alcohol and be just fine.

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