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Medical & Safety Alerts

Medical AlertsMountain country means breathtaking panoramic views, but it can also be just plain breath taking for those who are not acclimated to the altitude. But being short of breath can be a minor problem compared to other high altitude and backcountry risks including but not limited to the following:

Making you aware of these dangers is not meant to scare you away, but only to help you prepare for a safe and enjoyable trip.

Supervise children at ALL times.

See also Wildlife Viewing and Safety Tips

 

Medical Alerts

Altitude Sickness

At 9,000 ft. (2,688 meters), oxygen levels are about half that at sea level. Less available oxygen affects everyone differently. On some this may have little effect. On others, the affects can be life threatening. A rapid change in elevation, especially combined with the effects of strenuous activity like hiking, can bring on altitude sickness. Those with a history of heart and lung problems should take special precautions.

Watch for these symptoms of altitude sickness:

  • headache

  • shortness of breath

  • dizziness

  • nausea

  • fatigue

  • nasal congestion

  • rapid heartbeat

  • diarrhea

  • insomnia

If symptoms persist or worsen, go to a lower elevation as soon as possible and seek medical attention. The best protection against altitude sickness is to gradually acclimate your body to the higher elevations. Rangers recommend that you spend at least one night at 7,000-8,000 ft. before beginning any hikes to higher elevations.

In addition to minimize your risk by limiting strenuous activity the first few days of your high country trip. Rest, eat lightly, avoid alcohol, and increase your fluid intake.

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