Rocky Mountain High: TBEX 12 Altitude Tips

The BWE/TBEX team visited Denver and Keystone last week, and we came away with two opinions:

  • TBEX 12 is going to ROCK.  The city of Denver and Keystone Resorts are pulling out all the stops to create a spectacular event.  From touchdown to departure, we’ve got a weekend of learning, networking, and fun.
  • The change in altitude kicked us all.  While some of us are more out of shape than others, the altitude did make a difference in our activity level.

Top of mountain at Keystone Resort, Colorado, TBEX12

Looking for suggestions on how to minimize the side effects of the altitude for TBEX 12 led us to one of our speakers, Beth Whitman, who has lots of experience in traveling at higher altitude.  Here’s what she has to say about it


Usually twice a year I lead tours to Bhutan. This tiny Kingdom is tucked between Tibet and Northeast India in the Himalayas. Read: high altitude. We land at about 5,000 feet and find ourselves as high as 11,000 feet while driving over some of the mountain passes.

At these altitudes, the air is quite thin, thus making it difficult to do simple things such as walk up a flight of stairs or jog more than 15 feet.

Most of you will be arriving for TBEX via Denver. At more than 5,000 feet, Denver is going to knock many of you for a loop but you’ve got another 4,000 feet to go (yes, higher) by the time you reach Keystone, located at about 9,000 feet.

By the time you arrive for TBEX, you’re gonna feel about 10 years older and like you’ve been smoking your whole life.

During my travels to Bhutan, fortunately, the high mountains haven’t yet affected me beyond being very short of breath. But it affects everyone differently.

Here’s the advice that I give our tour participants:

  1. Consider getting a prescription for altitude sickness medication, before you leave home. You can begin taking it prior to your trip to Colorado or when/if symptoms begin (usually 12 – 24 hours after arriving at altitude). If you do fall ill, this will help offset the symptoms (usually dizziness, insomnia, malaise, headache, nausea and, in more severe cases, vomiting and a rapid pulse). Even if you’ve been at altitude before and haven’t had symptoms, know that these can come on at any time – everyone is susceptible.
  2. Drink lots of water. While we’re touring, we don’t always have access to flush toilets, which inhibits some women from drinking enough fluids. But you’ll have no excuse in Colorado. Drink up, friends! Staying dehydrated (and that means curbing your alcohol consumption, sorry) will help tremendously in dampening the affects of the altitude.
  3. Slow down. Even walking up a couple of flights of stairs can make you winded at altitude – no matter how fit you think you are. Don’t push yourself. Just take it easy, know that you may not be on your same exercise routine and take elevators when possible.
  4. Carry ginger candies. Though most often associated with motion sickness, ginger can help you stave off an upset stomach caused by the altitude.
  5. Consider staying in Denver for a night or 2 prior to TBEX if you have the time. This will help you get acclimated so that you can get as much out of the conference as possible.
  6. Get down from elevation immediately if you do think you’ve got a serious case of altitude sickness. Let someone in charge at TBEX know that you’re ill so that you can get help and then plan to head for a valley.

Beth Whitman is the founder of Wanderlust and Lipstick and WanderTours. She regularly leads tours to Bhutan (and beyond) including treks high into the Himalayas. She gets just as winded as the next person on these tours but finds the mantra “slow and steady wins the race” to be an invaluable reminder to take it easy.

Beth will be speaking at TBEX 12 on “Monetize Like You Mean It.”   The panel brings together bloggers who have shaped their brands with multiple revenue streams for a discussion on using your brand to create a full time career.

Tickets for TBEX are still available.

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4 Responses
  1. I didn’t even think about the altitude factor. I’ll have to see about getting altitude sickness pills from my doctor, that’s a good tip and something I wouldn’t have thought of.

  2. I’m a little worried about this because of my past asthma, and because of how noticeable it was when I camped in the Grand Tetons. I didn’t even think about it on that trip, and it completely caught me off guard. I’ll definitely be picking up some ginger candy – thanks for the tips!

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