Mammoth Mountain’s location and surrounding geography combine with weather patterns to create an unthinkable amount of snowfall every year, but the same geography that creates legendary snowstorms can also cause altitude sickness in Mammoth’s visitors.
Mammoth Lakes alone sits over a mile above sea-level, and if you’re spending time on the mountain then you’re only going to be dealing with even higher elevations. If you’re not prepared for activity at high elevation you may experience altitude sickness and end up spending more time with a headache than you do on the snow. We’ve put together tips to avoid altitude sickness during your visit to Mammoth Mountain to help you enjoy every second of your trip. Check them out below and plan your strategy to fight the altitude!
What Causes Altitude Sickness
The basic cause of altitude sickness is that the air you breathe while at high elevation carries less oxygen. As a result, your body must work harder to function. On a surface level, this could mean you have to take a few extra breaths when you get to the top of a set of stairs. However, the extra work your body is putting in just to function means that it requires more fuel, specifically water. Add in the fact that most people who visit Mammoth Mountain do so to participate in rigorous outdoor sports that dehydrate your body further like biking, hiking, skiing and snowboarding, and you can see why altitude sickness is a very real problem. This is why one of the easiest ways to protect yourself is by drinking extra water before and during your trip.
What Altitude Sickness Looks Like
You can’t treat altitude sickness without knowing what the symptoms look like. Symptoms include dizziness, shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue, and even vomiting. These symptoms may be mild at first, but if you fail to treat them by drinking extra water, moving to lower elevation, or taking medication then they could intensify into serious discomfort.
How to Avoid Altitude Sickness
One of the best ways to avoid altitude sickness is to acclimate over a period of a few days before you begin any strenuous activity. Mammoth Lakes is a great place to visit, so if you have the chance then you should spend some time relaxing in town to let your body get used to the mountain air.
If you don’t have the luxury of time then you can also make a point to drink extra water every day. If you make a schedule to have an extra glass before bed and when you wake up then you will be well on your way to avoiding altitude sickness. You can also help your body by using moderation as well. If you moderate how much physical activity you perform while your body is acclimating, then you’ll have a better chance at avoiding altitude sickness. You should also moderate the amount of alcohol you drink while at altitude. Alcohol naturally dehydrates your body, but at altitude the effect is amplified.
Don’t Forget About Your Dogs
Mammoth Lakes is paradise for man’s best friend just as it is for man, but your dog cannot communicate that they’re experiencing symptoms. If you bring your dog to the mountain then make sure you supply them with plenty of water and moderate their physical activity just as you do yours. No matter how much your pup may want to run through the snow, give them time to acclimate before you let them wear themselves out!