High Country Safety Tips
One of the best things about living in the Rocky Mountains is taking flat-landers to the mountains when they come for a visit. Part of the fun is to hear them freak out when you take them up the most windy mountain road you can find!
- Guard rails? We live in Colorado. Guard rails are for sissies!
- Be sure to point out the truck way-down-there that missed the switch-back turn.
- And as you go around that hairpin turn on that windy and treacherous mountain road exclaim, “Oh, look at that view!” And watch their face turn green! (I always take visitors up Trail Ridge Road; Mt. Evans Road is fun too.)
Okay, seriously. There are some things about living at high altitude that are not to be taken lightly:
- Always inform your visitors of altitude sickness (nausea, headaches, shortness of breath or insomnia) and ask them to be sure to let you know if they are feeling ill. You wouldn’t want them to pass out and fall off a cliff!
- Pack a jacket, at the very least, when driving in the mountains. This one always gets tourist. It maybe 98 degrees in the city, but at the summit it’s 60 degrees and raining! Or, worst, it’s blizzard conditions on the West side of the Eisenhower Tunnel.
- And if you are hiking…you can never be too prepared for unexpected weather. Always know where you are going. Let someone know where you will be so they can notify forest rescue if you do not return. Stay on the trail. Pack the essentials: sunscreen (you’re closer to the sun at higher altitudes), water, trail mix/power bars, rain gear, map, and first aid kit. (Here is a great resource if you are planning to hike in Colorado.)
These are just a few suggestions. With a little pre-planning and knowledge your trip to the High Country can be a fun and safe one!