Aspen Nightlife and the Altitude

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.