In about a week I will be flying out to Breckenridge to ski out west for the first time. Growing up on the East Coast, this is huge for me, because all I have ever known is ice. That being said, I want to make sure I have the best time possible. If anyone has any advice for me, it would be greatly appreciated. Just a few questions I had: Should I bring my own skis or demo a pair? (I currently ride Line Blends) How do I avoid altitude sickness, and what do I do if I get it? I really want to try some of the higher alpine skiing, any advice/suggested runs? Also,does anyone have any apres suggestions? What bars should I go to, what should I avoid, and what is the nightlife scene like?
Altitude, well you're not gonna avoid it unless you spend a few nights in Denver to ease into it. Everyone goes straight to the mountain anyway and most people fare fine. You will be fine too. Your sleeping altitude in Breckenridge is quite high if you're traveling from lowlands. Although, you'll probably be fine and unlikely to get anything severe. In general most people I know get general mild symptoms, if any, such as headache, insomnia, fatigue, nausea and vomiting (less common). First night in, don't drink. I repeat, don't drink. Stay hydrated and eat healthy. Get plenty of rest and avoid diuretics such as caffeine in coffee and sodas. Read up on mountain sickness, how to identify it, and how to treat it if it becomes serious. Know when to seek medical attention in the rare event you or someone in your party needs to. For headaches, I prefer to take ibuprofen 600mg every 6 hours (assuming you're a healthy adult, you could even go up to 800mg, but the studies only used 600mg so I don't ever go higher). Take it with food.
Really the biggest thing, even more so than altitude sickness, is the shortness of breath with mild/moderate exertion once you get around 10k-13k feet. Fuck that's the worst but if you're in shape, you'll be fine and will manage. Just limit your hiking; I had to hike 20min up a trail to retrieve a ski this year and you woulda thought I had COPD I was so out of breath.
Depending on the weather and terrain choices, you may or may not want to rent skis. It may also be beneficial as you can test out skis you may want to buy in the future. If you do rent, I'd recommend renting demo skis in Denver as the prices in Breckenridge are almost double at places like Christy's Sports. Always carry your boots on the plane with you.
I've never been to Breckenridge cuz I like my money and hate crowds, but I know people who have gone and had a great time. Have fun man!
Only other tip I have is learn how to self arrest if you don't already. Saved my ass big the first time I went out west.