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Sunday, 18 October 2015

There is more to do in Aspen than ski! The 
Aspen nightlife is like nothing you will 
experience elsewhere. The warmth and 
camaraderie of all of the skiers, from all of the 
different lodges is quite special, and remarkable. 
You will have a good time in Aspen, no matter 
what you choose to do, but there is one thing 
that you should be very aware of before you 
start your party – the altitude.

Aspen sits about 8000 feet above sea level. 
Unless you live in a high altitude area, you will 
need to adjust to this altitude. You may find 
yourself feeling dizzy or light headed, and you 
may even find it a bit difficult to breath. Altitude 
Sickness is a serious problem, and if your 
symptoms become extreme, you should seek 
medical attention.

If you will be drinking, you need to know that the 
altitude will have a large impact on the way your 
body handles the alcohol. Many people who are 
not used to such a high altitude find that they 
become drunker on much less alcohol, in a very 
short period of time. It is best that you avoid 
drinking alcohol at all until you have adjusted 
to the altitude. 

It is also important to recognize the signs of 
both Altitude sickness and Acute Mountain 
Sickness (AMS). Altitude sickness can be 
recognized by hyperventilation, shortness of 
breath during exertion, increased urination, 
changed breathing patterns at night, strange 
dreams, and frequently waking from sleep 
during the night. Acute Mountain Sickness, on 
the other hand, is recognized by loss of appetite, 
nausea, vomiting, fatigue or weakness, 
dizziness, light-headedness, difficulty sleeping, 
confusion, and a staggering gait.  

As you can see, the symptoms of both Altitude 
Sickness and Acute Mountain Sickness 
somewhat resemble the symptoms of drinking 
too much alcohol. The only way to rule out being 
drunk is to not drink for at least 48 hours after 
your arrival in the higher altitude. You should 
also seek medical attention if your symptoms 
last more than 48 hours, or if you show signs 
of Acute Mountain Sickness. AMS can be 
deadly if it is not treated.

Health care professionals suggest that you 
avoid drinking alcohol because the effects are 
magnified at a high altitude. Avoid strenuous 
activity for the first couple of days after arriving 
at the higher altitude. Drink extra fluid and visit 
a doctor if you have symptoms of AMS 
immediately for treatment.

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