Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Re: Elevation Sickness semi o/t
Sorry to hear about your problems with altitude. I live in Colorado Springs and as you know at about 6500' it is pretty thin up here. I have a few friends that visit from time to time and there does not seem to be anything you can do to adapt quickly to altitude. As you mentioned you can drink plenty of water, minimize physical activity, and avoid alcohol, but that will serve only to minimize the effects. That is to say if you live at 100' and get off a plane at 6500' you may have a problem, not everyone does. Here in the mountains the idea is to gradually gain elevation over period of days gaining evelation slowly. This is difficult to do. It can take a week to feel 'ok' after arriving. I have not heard of any medication to prevent altitude sickness only medication to reduce the effects in serious cases.
Keep in mind that going to Ouray from Colorado Springs you may cross mountain passes that are over 11,000' high!. If you do intend to make this trip my recommendation would be to stay in Colorado Springs for a week before venturing higher.
In the end it is really a matter of personal physiology that determines who will get sick or not. I have seen people fly in from Florida and stand on Pikes Peak (14,110') the next day without any problems. I have also seen native Colorado Springs residents pass out on the Peak.
Good luck and take it slow. In the end the only way to cure altitude sickness is to go DOWN!