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How to Avoid Altitude Sickness for Skiers

Tips for Avoiding Altitude Sickness


How to Avoid Altitude Sickness for Skiers

French Alps

Copyright Michael Doyle
Altitude sickness can occur at high elevation, typically over 8000 feet, but sometimes at lower elevations.

When you're skiing at higher altitude resorts, it's important to be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness, which include headaches, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, and fatigue, and take precautions to prevent or minimize symptoms.

Some people are more susceptible to altitude sickness than others and it's important for skiers to stay hydrated and to take the time to acclimatize to help offset the altitude.

Tips for Avoiding Altitude Sickness for Skiers

  • Stay hydrated. It's really important to drink lots of water to stay well hydrated. Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, and sedatives. They can compound the effects of the altitude.
  • Ski with a Camelbak. Use a Camelbak (backpack hydration system) so you have a supply of water on hand.
  • Take it easy. When you're at a high-elevation ski resort don't plan on full day of skiing your first day. Consider skiing a short day while you're acclimatizing.
  • Load up on carbs. A high carbohydrate diet can help because carbs take less oxygen to metabolize.
  • Watch for symptoms. If you have symptoms of severe altitude sickness (shortness of breath, chest tightness, more than moderate fatigue, fever, persistent cough, loss of coordination) get medical attention right away.
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