If it is summer, Why am I freezing?
Mountain Temperatures

How can it be 90 degrees in Denver and 40 degrees on Trail Ridge Road at the same time?

Easy! For each 1,000 feet of elevation gain the temperature will drop 3 to 5 degrees. Going from Denver to the top of Trail Ridge Road is an elevation gain of 7,000 feet thus a drop of 28 to 35 degrees.

Now if you add in a wind chill factor, caused by the wind and there is almost always a wind blowing on Trail Ridge Road, it may seem to be wintertime at the top of the pass. It can snow at the top in both July and August!

Solution: Bring a fall or winter jacket with you on your trips to the mountains. A pair of gloves might, also, be a good idea. If you are a little thin on top, as I am, a hat prevents heat loss and sunburn.

Guard against Hypothermia

Hypothermia is the lowering of the body's core temperature to a level, which impairs normal muscle and brain activities. It is a serious and sometimes fatal condition.

Hypothermia is generally brought on by exposure to cold. The windy, often wet, conditions of high elevations can produce hypothermia at temperatures as warm as 50 degrees F (10 degrees).

Preparation is the best prevention for hypothermia. Carry adequate equipment for rapid weather changes. Always include rain gear, extra clothing for layering, a hat and gloves. Watch for these signs of hypothermia in yourself and others in your party:
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of judgment or coordination
  • Reduced dexterity
  • Slurred speech
  • Uncontrolled shivering
If these signs appear, begin immediate treatment. Eliminate exposure to cold and wet conditions, move out of the wind, add layers of warm, dry clothing, and begin to warm the individual by administering warm, non-alcoholic liquids.

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