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Wellness Warriors

High Altitude Sun Protection

Above the Clouds – Beneath the Sun

We at Coolibar have great admiration for those who pursue intense outdoor adventures and strive to help them do it safely.  Height seeking mountain climbers need to be aware of the dangers of UV at higher altitudes.  According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “UV intensity increases with altitude because there is less atmosphere to absorb the damaging rays. As a result, the chance of damaging your eyes and skin increases at higher altitude.”

Our friend Paul Ridley of Row for Hope shares his Mountaineering experience.

High altitude mountaineering comes with lots of obvious risks: avalanches, crevasses, falling ice, high winds, and high altitude sickness. As a climber with two parents who’ve battled melanoma, I’m acutely aware of the health risk from sun exposure that is only a second thought to many mountaineers.  

In the thin air climbers encounter above 10,000 feet there is often no hope of protection from clouds, and the thin air and reflective snow makes for dangerous sunburns. While climbing I’ve been sunburned on the roof of my mouth, the underside of my nose, and inside my nostrils.

Paul Ridley – Muir Snowfield

Keep in mind there is enough reflected UV that even in a shaded area, skin can sunburn. Apply sunscreen to exposed areas to avoid a burn, even if you plan on wearing a sun hat or staying in the shade.  The Coolibar Face Shield offers both the skin –coverage protection and breathe-ability that sun-conscious climbers need at altitude.

Take it from Paul and remember to protect your skin, especially at high altitude.

  • Sun protective clothing, including a hat with a three-inch brim, will protect you at all times of the day. 
  • Use ample sunscreen on those parts of your skin that will be exposed – face, neck, top of ears, hands.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. 

Be SunAWARE and Be Safe!

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Wellness Warriors

The Grand Canyon Peeke Performers

Every year over five million people from all over the world visit the Grand Canyon.  Less than 1% of those visitors ever reach the bottom.  Of those that actually complete the Rim-to-Rim hike, only 8% are women.  

These statistics didn’t dissuade eight determined women.  The Grand Canyon Peeke Performers physically and mentally challenged themselves to complete the rigorous Rim-to-Rim hike as a part of their journey of personal fitness and well-being.  They hiked the Grand Canyon north rim to south rim, with an overnight stay at the base.  The 26.2 mile (marathon distance) trek included 112 degree temperatures and the load of their 25-pound backpacks. 

The Peeke Performers were lead by wellness expert Dr. Pamela Peeke, who invited her friend and colleague, The US Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin, who shares a love of hiking.  With the addition of 6 adventurous women the Rim-to-Rim hikers were assembled and trained for months with Dr. Peeke to increase their stamina and endurance in preparation for the challenge.

Dr. Pamela Peeke and Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin

Dermatologist Dr. Shanny Baughman, a Grand Canyon Peeke Performer, brought this momentous hike to Coolibar’s attention.  Being a dermatologist, Dr. Baughman was concerned about UV exposure while in the Grand Canyon, with virtually no protection from the sun.  They needed lightweight, breathable, sun protective gear – that’s where Coolibar came in.  Coolibar equipped the 8 women with UPF 50+ hats and shirts to keep them protected from the sun.

Pictured below are The Grand Canyon Peeke Performers at the start of their expedition.  More details to come on their Rim-to-Rim adventure.

Grand Canyon Peeke Performers - Wearing their Coolibar UPF 50+ Travel Shirts and Lightweight Sun Hats
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SunAWARE Wear Sun Protection

Shield Your Eyes! 4 Simple Sun Protection Tips

Just like our skin, our eyes are susceptible to damage from the sun. Exposure to intense sunlight for even a short period of time can essentially cause your eyes to develop a “sun burn”. Both short and long term exposure to UV rays could create vision problems and eye damage, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation. In light of this, we’ve compiled some simple tips to keep you and your family’s eyes protected.

 

1.     Always wear protective eyewear

Clear skies or cloudy days, the sun’s ultra violet rays still reach the earth’s surface. Bright reflected sunlight from sidewalks, sand, snow and other surfaces can cause UV damage just as easily as direct sunlight. Keeping your sunglasses with you for all sunny and semi-sunny occasions will keep you covered!

 2.       Look for quality sunglasses

Look for lenses that blocks 100% of both UVA and UVB rays (label could also say blocks 100% of harmful UV rays or UV 400 protection). Polarized polycarbonate lenses in particular are usually your best bet for full coverage. Keep in mind that price doesn’t always equate to quality. You can find many stylish yet protective sunglasses at reasonable prices.

 3.       Examine your sunglasses

Before you make a commitment to a pair of eyewear, ensure there is no damage to the lenses. Also, double check that the label clearly states 100% UV protection.  Another thing to consider is that bigger frames mean bigger coverage. Look for wide temples so sunlight doesn’t seep in through the sides of the sunglasses. Go for those Hollywood shades!

 4.       Protect future generations

Detrimental forms of UV-related eye diseases typically stem from accumulated damage, which reinforces the importance of starting good eye protection habits at an early age. Educate your kids about the importance of protecting their eyes. When sending them outside, make sure they wear a pair of broad-spectrum UV sunglasses with 100% protection from harmful UV rays. The younger they develop healthy sun protection habits, the less resistance you’ll get as a parent/guardian. For young children, look for a pair of sunglasses that wrap closely around little heads to minimize unfiltered light and have straps to prevent them from falling off.

Keeping Kids Protected from the Sun!

Don’t forget your Sunglasses and a Wide Brimmed Hat!  By following a few simple steps to protect your eyes, not only will you look great in your shades you’ll help avoid eye problems in the future.

Be SunAWARE and be Safe!

Shop Coolibar Now for Optical Quality Sunglasses with Polycarbonate Lenses that provide 100% UV 400 Protection.

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