Alpine Altitude of Breckenridge, Colorado
The cold wind whips by our flushed cheeks as we step onto the moving gondola bound for the top of Peak 9.
As we hunker down inside the gondola, we’re relieved to be inside the relative warmth of our suspended capsule as it speeds towards the top of the mountain, located at roughly 13,000 feet above sea level. The town of Breckenridge, where you board the gondola, sits at 9,000 feet, and that is quite a bit higher than our current home in Oklahoma (which is about 1,100 feet above sea level). Luckily for us, we’re wearing our winter jackets, hats, and gloves, which help us acclimate to the cold and wintry climate.
Our friendly riding companion (who happens to be from Minnesota), chirps excitedly about hitting the slopes on opening day, and tells us about the great bar and restaurant located at the end of our gondola ride that’s perfect for people watching, warming up, and enjoying a pint. His recommendation is a good one, and we mosey on in to the bar, remove our winter coats, and sidle up to the counter to whittle away the afternoon.
Little did we know when we made our reservations that the alpine altitude would affect us as much it did. We are short of breath, light-headed, and quick to get headaches. Despite all of the literature in our hotel room that warns visitors of the dangers of altitude sickness, we are both surprised to feel its effects. Luckily, we guzzle down a bunch of water, and that seems to help us adjust a bit more quickly. After a few hours of people watching, we decide it’s time for another gondola ride, only this time it’s bound for Breckenridge.
As we disembark the gondola, we’re feeling some relief from the high altitude and figure a walk around town is in order. The wind, cold, and snow won’t stop us from experiencing this wonderful town during winter.
Top image credit: Silvia Mitter Muller
Bottom image credits: Jet Set With Mary