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A Perspective: Staying Safe at Altitude during the Upcoming Holiday Festivities

Recently in Mammoth we’ve had a very harsh reminder of how quickly and easily life can end from the overconsumption of alcohol in this high altitude town.

There have been several recent alcohol related deaths with gruesome consequences among both local residents and out of town guests who’ve been drinking in the town.  It is a good time, before the holidays begin, to regroup and revisit what is safe here in the area when it comes to having a good time.

Please remember that after drinking at this altitude the effect of one drink can easily take on the feel of three.  Everyone has likely experienced this effect that the altitude (lack of oxygen) has upon one who is not acclimated yet.  It is never a fun time to lose your way home or black out on vacation, or worse, end up in jail or with a DUI.  Here are some definite MUST FOLLOW rules for staying safe:

Do not drive your car, especially near Main Street or The Village.  The town is small enough to take the free shuttle, a taxi or walk.  There are no laws against open containers while walking through town, so take advantage and burn off those empty calories.

Drink one glass of water for each alcoholic beverage, just to keep yourself in the range of remembering what is going on.

Go with friends.  Do not go out alone in Mammoth.  At least one good friend can be a real lifesaver once the night has taken shape.

Have a backup plan in case your designated driver plan doesn’t work out.  Carry at least $20 in cash with you for a taxi home.

Have an itinerary for the night and a meeting place and time if anyone gets lost.  Many times cell service is unreliable during winter storms in Mammoth.  Have a planned time and place to meet just in case all else fails.

Make a pact to go home together.  Do not leave friends behind in Mammoth at any cost, even at a large event.  There are many people from all parts of the world that vacation here and the police force cannot handle all of it during the peak seasons.  In case of an emergency like a missing friend, don’t rely on a fast response from the police department.  Stay together even if it means linking arms to get around.

That’s it for this holiday party writer.  Have a safe and fun holiday season and remember, don’t drive.