Planning Tips

Planning Tips
Photo Credit » Todd Powell

Taking a trip to Frisco is a great way to relax or have an adventure. Being prepared for the high country will ensure that whatever you do will be fun.  Frisco is at 9,097 feet above sea level and this can cause several complications if you are not aware of your environment.

Sun

The atmosphere is thinner here so the sun is more intense.  Be sure to wear sunblock even on a cloudy day to avoid a painful sunburn. Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses and your head by wearing a hat.  Carry a tube of lip protection to avoid chapped and blistering lips.

Altitude

You may notice some strange things happening to you when at a higher elevation. Some people experience minimal symptoms of altitude sickness such as headaches, strange dreams, trouble sleeping, and shortness of breath. Try combating these symptoms by drinking a lot of water (8 or more cups a day), taking an over the counter medication for headache and avoiding caffeine or alcohol. If you should have more severe symptoms such as fatigue, vomiting, rapid heart beat, numb or tingling extremities, then it is time to slow down. Take an extra day to acclimate before doing that triathlon.  Oxygen will help many of these symptoms and enable you to enjoy your trip. You can purchase oxygen from various  companies or at local stores.  If your symptoms should become extreme ,which would include fluid build-up in lungs, decreased mental status, inability to walk, or shortness of breath at rest, a doctor should be consulted immediately. These severe symptoms can be fatal and may require you to go to a lower elevation.

If you feel that the altitude may be an issue or have a medical history of heart, lung or other problem, talk with your doctor. There are some medications that can be prescribed as well as some natural treatments for altitude.

Frostbite/Hypothermia

It can snow or get below freezing at any time at higher elevations so be aware of frostbite or hypothermia. Frostbite is identified by the skin turning blue, white or pale. Blisters may form as the skin warms. Usually frostbite occurs on the extremities (nose, fingers, toes).  Cover exposed areas of skin and keep dry if frostbite is a hazard.

With Hypothermia, the body temperature will drop, violent shivering leading to no shivering will occur, lack of coordination and mild confusion may be apparent. To treat hypothermia, a person should be dry, gradually warmed and in shelter. The best option is prevention by wearing proper clothing (no cotton, instead moisture wicking fabrics like synthetics or wool) or avoid being in climates that will lead to this condition.

What to wear

The best suggestion for packing in the summer or winter is to layer. By wearing a moisture wicking garment next to your skin you will stay warmer and not get chilled since the moisture is being pulled away from your body. Even in summer, pack multiple layers as the evenings are cooler and any rain will cool things down.