IDAA 2017

Altitude Information


Snowbird resort is at 8100 feet elevation. For those of you who went to Keystone, this is about 1000 feet lower than the Keystone resort. But you will feel a difference, especially if you live around sea level.


The humidity at Snowbird averages 5% so make sure you drink a LOT of fluids every day! You will not know you are losing fluid since sweat immediately dries in such low humidity. When thirsty, drink fluids (likely 3-4 quarts total per day). Water, coffee and tea will be available around the resort and in the hospitality area. Bring a refillable water bottle to avoid plastic overload.


The summer days are warm and sunny, but nights can be very cool (down in the 40s-50s). Be prepared for sudden weather changes. Layers of clothing are a good idea. It may feel colder or warmer depending on whether it's windy or cloudy, or sunny with still air. It's best to dress in layers and wear breathable clothing. Bring long pants and a light jacket for the cooler times and evening outdoor events. Check the temperature through the site and pack accordingly. Don't forget your bathing suit for the Pool and Spa!


Because of the thinner atmosphere, you can sunburn more easily than usual. Ultraviolet light is more intense at higher elevation. Be sure to protect your face and lips with appropriate sunscreen (at least 30 SPF broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect against UVA and UVB), and protect your eyes with sunglasses. Wear clothes with SPF protection and a hat if outside for a while! If you forget sun protection, you can buy hats, sunscreen and lip protection at the resort shops.


You will need to navigate between buildings for the various meetings. Some uphill and downhill walking between buildings will be required. Take it slow if you are not used to higher elevation. If you need transportation between the buildings, Snowbird staff will shuttle you from place to place. You can also rent a mobility scooter with some options here:


Visitors from lower elevations may experience some altitude illness. The vast majority of cases are self-limited and spontaneously resolve as the body acclimatizes. Symptoms include fatigue, decreased appetite, shortness of breath with minimal exertion, nausea, headache and sleep disturbances. These symptoms are often worse the second day at altitude (but resolve in 4 to 5 days). Rest and hydration are the keys to treating mild forms of altitude sickness. If you have trouble with altitude, check with your primary care provider and consider prophylaxis with acetazolamide (Diamox) 250 mg qday. Take it for five days before you get here! Don't forget there is significant diuresis while you take it, and drink plenty of hydrating fluids.


  1. Stay Properly Hydrated: Acclimatization is often accompanied by fluid loss, so you need to drink lots of fluids to remain properly hydrated (at least 3-4 quarts per day). Coffee and tea are dehydrating, so drink water, lemonade, or other hydrating beverages.
  2. Avoid tobacco and medications that can lead to dehydration.
  3. Light activity during the day is preferable to sleeping because respiration decreases during sleep, exacerbating altitude sickness symptoms.

For more information about altitude sickness:


If you need or think you will need supplemental oxygen at higher elevation, the following SLC companies can help you rent the needed medical devices and supplies: