1) The town of Telluride is located at 8750 feet above sea level, most likely much higher than where you live, work, and play and BREATHE every day. There is a phenomenon about our high altitude air most people call “thin air”, but let me give you some of the science behind it. Even though we have the same percentage of oxygen in our air as sea level (21%), there are less molecules per square meter (or square inch, or square foot….you get the picture). At sea level you have much more atmosphere pressing around and down on you. As you go up in altitude on the planet, the air gets less and less dense, or the air is “thinner”. It’s called Boyle’s Law and we can’t break this law. BE PREPARED!
Begin to hydrate NOW. Start to increase your water intake to at least 4 to 5 quarts a day. Sip a quart an hour. Trying to drink a lot at one time does not work. Drink slowly and space it out over time.
Rest and get some good quality sleep while in your “thick” air. This can be difficult to do while preparing for a big vacation, but try to relax at the end of the day.
Even harder to do, decrease caffeine and avoid alcohol 2 days prior to departure.
2) No matter if you are coming in the winter or summer, pack your sunscreen! Because of all the science about the air in #1, it also means that there are less molecules of atmosphere “stuff” to protect you against the sun’s harmful rays. Telluride is blessed with many sunny days, enjoy it, but don’t overdo it.
3) Likewise, sunglasses or ski goggles are a must at this altitude! The sun glare from the snow will definitely make you run for your sunglasses. With the “thinner” air, the amount of light that gets to your eyes can be intense year round, sunny or cloudy. Protect your eyes. It also helps to protect from the sometimes drying wind and air.
4) WEATHER, you can expect any type of weather any month of the year. Yes, I have seen snow on the 4th of July (pictures to prove it!). Dress in layers. The evenings and mornings can be chilly, and the days can be in the 80’s in the summer (OK, I haven’t seen that temperature in the winter!). A local’s car will have every weight of jackets, a blanket, a couple of different shoes, and of course, a reusable water bottle just to be prepared.
5) Shoes, Telluride is pedestrian friendly, so walk as much as you can. Bring comfortable shoes for around town, and for hikes, be sure to have waterproof shoes as there may be little streams to forge crossing the trails. In the winter, make sure that you have great soles, with lots of traction. Slick bottoms will land you on your bottom! Walking around town also gets your circulation going, oxygenates your blood, and gets you in better shape for the slopes or hikes! Not a great place for high heels as our streets and sidewalks are a bit uneven.