Tips for Planning a Trip to Breckenridge

Tips for Planning a Trip to Breckenridge

By JlfdzOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

When the weather’s colder and the days are shorter, there’s nothing else to look forward to apart from the sport that you love. It’s time to start to think about the approaching skiing season. So, you start to find your equipment, look into the Breckenridge vacation rentals and off you go. But, there’s a problem. People have warned you about a few dangers when you go to Breckenridge. Here are a few tips to help you plan your perfect trip and how to avoid problems.

Adjusting to the Altitude:

Breckenridge has an altitude of around 9,600 feet, which means that the atmosphere is different and the chances of suffering altitude sickness are high. In fact, some estimates say that about half the people who come here develop some degree of altitude sickness. This happens because your body is quickly exposed to a different environment where the air is thinner. It takes a while for our bodies to adjust and acclimatize.

The typical symptoms include feeling out of breath faster than usual, a reduced appetite, and feeling fatigued. This tends to happen on the first and second day and begins to ease up after a few more.  The best way to combat altitude sickness is to make sure you drink enough water to keep your body hydrated and to stay away from alcohol, which in turn causes dehydration. You should also get plenty of rest and only do light activity until your body has had the chance to adapt. Take a few aspirins if you’re suffering from migraines on the first night.

The most important thing to remember with altitude sickness is that it can affect anyone of any age and level of fitness. You should factor in that you’re probably not going to be doing much skiing on the first day until your body has correctly acclimatized. If you do push too hard, it can have disastrous and even fatal consequences.

Breckenridge is for Experienced Skiers:

The slopes are suitable for skiers and snowboarders with an intermediate level of ability. Those who are beginners or have little experience are probably going to face problems. Breckenridge can be brutal if you’re not confident going down the slopes. This increases the risk of injury and reduces the safety aspect.

But, it doesn’t mean that non-experienced skiers shouldn’t come here. There are plenty of opportunities to learn how to ski and snowboard. Instructors can teach you the correct technique and how to reduce the chance of injuries. And, if you’re not confident you can find an instructor who will take you down.

Imperial Chair Opens in Breckenridge
Image credit: Carl Scofield –

Bring the Right Clothes:

Breckenridge is high in the mountains and you’re going to be outside for most of the day. This means that you need to make sure you pack and wear appropriate clothes to keep you warm and dry. If you get wet or are exposed directly to the cold, hypothermia and frostbite can set in. And when you’re skiing with the adrenaline pumping, it’s not always obvious that there’s a problem until it’s too late.

So, to avoid this you should get waterproof ski pants and a jacket to wear over your clothes. Dress in warm layers to keep the heat inside whilst at the same time making sure you have enough flexibility to move around. Sweat pants, sweaters, and fleeces are good whereas jeans are bad. You should also get specially made clothes from winter stores to protect your neck and face. And don’t forget to bring a good pair of waterproof gloves.

The Sun is Your Enemy:

Some people find it hard to imagine that when the temperatures are subzero and you’re battling against the cold that you have another enemy – the sun. It’s true, people who spend a lot of time on the slopes come back down with red faces from sunburn. Sometimes, if you’ve been out there for hours and hours, this may actually be quite serious.

The mountains are at almost 10,000 feet when the UV rays from the sun are much stronger than down at sea level. The white snow reflects them back onto your skin. And because you don’t feel the heat on your face, it’s quite easy to completely forget about their hazardous effects. Make sure you bring sunscreen with you and cover the parts of your body that are continuously exposed to the sun.

Don’t assume that you can apply it once and you’re going to be fine for the rest of the day. Whenever you make contact with something or get covered in snow, the sunscreen gets washed off. For this reason, you’re going to need to keep reapplying it to protect your skin. The best time to do this is when you’re at the bottom of the slope before going back up again. If you have friends or family with you, give them the bottle to keep reminding you.

It’s also a good idea to invest in some strong sunglasses or goggles that offer protection for your eyes against the UV rays. I also like to bring some lip balm to give my lips protection against both the UV rays and the cold.

The Takeaway Message:

Spending a week or two on the slopes in Breckenridge is a great experience and it gives you something to look forward to in the winter. But, at the same time, you need to prepare and protect yourself against the elements. Don’t expect to be skiing on the first day and make sure you wear warm and waterproof clothes.



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