Visiting a mountain town is an incredibly wonderful experience. However, if you are visiting from a place that is much lower in elevation, you might want to think about preparing for the change in altitude. Many people do not think that altitude sickness is a big deal or even real, but it's effects are serious and can ruin a trip. There is less oxygen in the air than there is at sea level, making even simple tasks harder for people that are not acclimated to the change in elevation.
One of the first things you should do before you even leave for your trip to any mountain town is to make sure you are staying hydrated. Dehydration reduces your body’s ability to adjust to new elevation. Your body is working harder than usual, so extra water will help you fight off altitude sickness. Sun Valley sits at about 5,750 ft and the summit of Mount Baldy is at 9,150 ft. If your body is not ready for these changes, you might experience headaches, nausea, or fatigue.
Another way to help you acclimate to the altitude a bit better is to take your time ascending to higher elevation. If you are deciding you want to get out and go skiing, snowshoeing, or any activity higher in elevation, give your body time adjust. Your body typically needs 3 to 5 days to acclimate to elevations over 8,000 feet if your body is not used to that kind of elevation. So take the first few days of your trip slower and make sure you check in with yourself or your kids to see how everyone feels.
Finally, make sure you are wearing protective clothing from the sun. Always wear sunscreen in high altitudes. Even on cloudy winter days, you can still get burnt. Being closer to the sun because of the elevation gain really causes your skin to burn faster. It may even be good to wear a sun protective hat as well has layers of clothing that will protect your skin from the elements. Even if you are not very prone to getting sun burnt, take this advice and wear sunscreen on your face in high altitudes. You will thank yourself for it.
Spending time in the mountains is wonderful; but, getting altitude sickness or sun burnt can really make for a not so great experience. By simply preparing a bit ahead of time, and making sure to bring protective clothing, your time in the higher elevation will be great.