5 Winter Safety Tips
Vail Village is located at 8,022 feet above sea level and the top of the ski hill peaks at 11,570. When you vacation here you may experience “altitude sickness” which can include headaches, nausea, restless sleep, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Prevention is key so we suggest slowly acclimate by staying in Denver (5280 feet) for a few hours or your first day in Colorado instead of driving up to the mountains immediately. If you have no choice or flew directly into EGE, try drinking extra water and avoid alcohol to reduce symptoms. If these symptoms don’t go away after the first day, you may wish to seek medical attention which typically consists of an oxygen machine. Vail Health is located a short distance from the lodge or a mobile doctor is also available to come to you. Please inquire with the lodge front desk staff for assistance.
Studies say that at 6,000 feet above sea level, you exhale and perspire twice as much as you do at sea level. Over the course of a day, that can be more than a quart of water a day. At higher elevations like Vail, this is more pronounced. Higher altitude also means lower air pressure and lower humidity. You’ll have to drink more than twice the amount of water you drink at home to stay hydrated. For Apres-ski, remember that each alcoholic drink you have in Vail is equal to two where at sea level. Pace yourself and maybe refrain from alcoholic beverages for the first 24-hours of your trip.
You are much closer to the sun in Colorado and with the reflection from the snow, the sun is very intense. Apply sunblock frequently throughout the day and use a UVA/UVB block SPF 30+. However, if you’re wanting that “goggle tan” maybe shoot for an SPF 15, but you’ll probably get a few laughs when you return home with this new look. Trust us, stick to 30+ and apply often.
When you’re skiing be aware of your surroundings. Vail’s open ski slopes are spacious even on a busy day, but you are in charge of where your ski’s point so you want to make sure you leave ample space between you and your neighbor. We also suggest taking frequent breaks, drink ample water, and pack a snack or plan for a lunch break on the mountain. Additional items include wearing a helmet (locals wear helmets now too), eye protection from wind and sun, and wear enough layers so you stay warm, but don’t overheat. If you overheat, check your helmet, jacket, and pants for vents to regulate your body temperature.
Weather patterns change quickly in Colorado and driving over high-mountain passes can be difficult. If you decide to rent a car, make sure it has AWD or 4WD. Check the forecast and give yourself plenty of time to get wherever you’re going safely. If the road is snow packed, reduce speed to 15-40 MPH or where ever you feel comfortable, but hazard lights are not necessary unless you pull off to stop on the shoulder. Your passengers will appreciate starting a vacation with less stress by taking your time. If you are fearful of mountain driving, consider one of our many transportation companies like Colorado Mountain Express shuttle service or reserve private transportation like BeeLine and Vail Coach which are both available at DIA and EGE. Please be aware that UBER and Lyft are available around town but are not currently available at EGE so Ride Taxi or High Mountain Taxi is your best option from the airport to the lodge.