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Stories from Element 52

Stories from Element 52

Go Telluride’s High-Altitude Secrets

“Some guests don’t even realize that they’re experiencing symptoms of altitude sickness when they get here,” Eric says. “But even people who feel fit and healthy are susceptible to the shortness of breath, fatigue, headaches, and dizziness that sometimes accompanies being this high above sea level. Your body has to work that much harder to absorb the oxygen it requires.” Over time, however, most visitors adapt remarkably well—helped along by drinking enough water, ditching beer and wine, avoiding exercise, and getting enough sleep.

But for Eric, who was eager to cross everything off of his Telluride bucket list right away, Element 52’s The Auberge Spa awaited. Stepping into the space, which is crafted from native stone and designed to look like a cavern, instantly soothed him. “The treatments here are designed locally and complemented everything else I was doing to adapt to the elevation,” he says. He started with Auberge at Altitude, a firm massage treatment enhanced with specific techniques to help with high altitudes. “You’re rubbed down with an intoxicating blend of essential oils—refreshing peppermint, earthy frankincense, and refreshing lemon married with cypress, ylang ylang, pine, lavender, spearmint, and rose—all of which help reduce the common side effects associated with high altitude,” Eric explains.

The spa recently developed a cold laser therapy that treats mountain sickness symptoms as well. “This type of light therapy is called photobiomodulation,” Eric says. “If you think about it, two-thirds of the energy that cells use come from light, while only one-third comes from metabolizing food. Every cell in your body can benefit from light. This laser encourages your body to produce more oxygen and increases our energy levels.” And you’ll need all the energy you can get. Once your symptoms fade away, there’s a wealth of lofty, snow-capped summits to explore—and even Eric is still waiting to check them all off his bucket list.Stories from Element 52