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Adventurous Dining at the Peter Grubb Hut

March 19th, 2015 By   

This post comes from Guest Blogger Michelle Shea. Michelle lives in Lake Tahoe and is the host/creator of the outdoor series Adventure Dining Guide. She created Adventure Dining Guide because “food is the unrecognized hero of our journeys, and its about time backcountry meals get the recognition they deserve”. Learn  more at www.adventurediningguide.com

Who: Chef Brian Robinson from the Clair Tappaan Lodge, cameraman Calvin Scibilla, dogs Bella and Shogun, and myself
What: Hike to Sierra Club’s Peter Grub Hut and cook lunch in the hut
Where: Tahoe National Forrest and the Clair Tappaan Lodge
When: November, 2014

This was the first official episode that I filmed for Adventure Dining Guide with a cameraman, a script and an experienced chef. I was both nervous and excited for this adventure and spent weeks making sure everything turned out as planned.

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Calvin and I arrived in the morning to the Clair Tappaan Lodge to be greeted by Chef Brian and the friendly staff and volunteers who were at the lodge. We all sat down to enjoy a family style breakfast, where Calvin and I were able to hear some great stories about the lodge and its long history.

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Prepping the taco meat ingredients in the Clair Tappaan kitchen

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Redemption Song: Old Man, Take Two

March 16th, 2015 By   

Chris Cloyd is a TMS ambassador athlete based out of Truckee, CA. He and Steven Benesi, a distance runner and mountain athlete from Truckee, are attempting to run and climb all of the peak on the Western States Climbers’ OGUL List by the end of 2016. Their successes and shortcomings will be recounted in this space – subscribe to the TMS blog RSS feed to follow their story!

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Old Man Mountain, as seen from Interstate 80 Eastbound. Photo: Chris Cloyd

After a failed attempt earlier this year, Steven and I decided to celebrate his birthday with another attempt at Old Man Mountain. It seemed a fitting tribute, celebrating getting older with a summit bearing such a name. Learning from our previous mistakes, we chose attempt a new route to Old Man this time – instead of starting from Lake Spaulding, we would start from Cisco Grove and try and gain the summit via the Fordyce Summit ridgeline. This route put us a bit closer, to start, and seemed to remove much of the cross country travel that slowed us down last time.

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No Snow Doesn’t Mean No Fun!

March 16th, 2015 By   

This post comes from Rachel McCullough, an avid hiker, mountain biker, rock climber, yogi, skier and photographer living in Truckee, CA. Follow @rachelmcphotos on Instagram for stunning images of beautiful Sierra scenery. When Rachel isn’t enjoying her free time in the outdoors, she’s teaching skiing at Northstar California or building and marketing websites for her clients at McCullough Web Services.

Who: Rachel and Garrett McCullough, and lots of family and friends
What: Skiing and hiking
Where: Park City, Utah
When: March 2015

This is the fourth year of drought in Truckee/Tahoe. We could all sit around and complain, and many of us do, as do some of our visitors. There’s no snow, no powder, it’s too warm, it’s too muddy, etc. Please pinch yourselves! Somehow it is easy to forget that we are at Lake Tahoe – one of the most gorgeous lakes in the Sierra, surrounded by incredible and yes, still snow-capped mountains.

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The recent inversions mean lots of fog in the Martis Valley, taken at Northstar California. Photo: Rachel McCullough

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Thin Tahoe Winter Provides Us With Multi-Sport Paradise

March 11th, 2015 By   

TMS Ambassador Mike Tebbutt outlines all there is to do and be active in Tahoe during another low-snow winter. The following is his report on this re-imagined winter pastimes. Follow Mike on Instagram at @irontebby

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On top of Mt Baldy with Donner Party Mountain Runners for some off-trail running.

As I wrote this, Tahoe and Truckee were getting some much deserved snow!

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed with the lack of snowfall this winter, and scared for what this means for all of California as we are forced to fully embrace this severe drought we are in. However, the Lake Tahoe/Truckee region always provides us with the goods by which to enjoy this world-class destination. And in my 26 years of living in the area, I have seen many drought years that leave the “experts” telling you it will take several years of big winters to bring the Lake back up to capacity, only to have them contradicted by one winter with the HUGE precipitation that the Sierras are so famous for.

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Skiing at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe with my wife, Liz

This year has been an exceptional winter in that we have been able to enjoy Mt. Biking, Hiking and Trail Running all winter on the trails down low and still get some great skiing in up high. With these unique conditions, I have made it a point on several occasions to get in multi-sport days, even a couple of what I like to call “Tahoe Triathlons”. These triathlons consist of heading out early with my dog, Loosey, for a run on frozen dirt trails before the lifts open, then making my way up to Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe (which has been surprisingly good ALL winter) after breakfast for a few hours of skiing, then coming home to take Loosey out for round two and some quality “brown pow” mountain biking. I have also enjoyed some great off-piste running on the firm snow up high, as well as a handful of lift served and backcountry powder days.

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Stormy backcountry skiing with Sam Skrocke and Loosey on Mt Rose

I’ve seen many others taking advantage of the warm and calm days out on Tahoe and Donner lakes stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking, even a few brave swimmers. Others have also enjoyed some epic surf and kite surfing conditions this winter with the couple big storms that packed strong winds along with the snow.

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Mt Biking the February “brown pow”

I know we are all dreaming of bluebird and waist deep powder days, but until Mother Nature decides to bless us with those conditions, life is always good in Tahoe! While it hasn’t be waist deep this winter, we’ve still been having fun!

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Pond ice skating in Tahoe Vista!

Deuter Freerider Pro 28 SL Women’s Backpack – Review

March 5th, 2015 By   

This post comes from Colorado native Tiffany Hansen, a guest blogger (snowboardmountaineer.com) and Boulder, CO resident who recently relocated back from Southern California to be closer to the mountains, the snow and the great Colorado outdoors. When Tiffany isn’t working on behalf of her clients, she is finding new adventures in the backcountry and fine-tuning her collection of backcountry gear.

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Tiffany Hansen

*What: Deuter Freerider Pro 28 SL- Women’s Backpack

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Deuter Freerider Pro 28 SL Women’s Backpack

*Where: Since I purchased this pack in October 2014, if I am in the mountains and need to have my avalanche safety gear with me, or need to be able to boot-pack with my skis, my Dueter pack is with me. I can literally say that my pack and I are attached at the hip! This pack has accompanied me on 25 plus trips to the backcountry and has seen every single drainage in Rocky Mountain National Park as well as multiple trails across the Indian Peaks Wilderness, Summit County and the San Juans…anywhere accessible snow or shine.

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Thanks Technical Equipment Cleaners (TEC)!

February 27th, 2015 By   

Technical Equipment Cleaners (TEC), located at 10607 W. River St. Suite 1D, Truckee, CA specializes in cleaning, waterproofing, & repairs for outdoor sports apparel and equipment.

TEC utilizes “Green Cleaning, NOT dry cleaning” – All water cleaning, All ECO friendly, All ways…

Learn more at tec-tahoe.com and follow them on Facebook.

Recently, #TMS employee, Kevin Snow had the misfortune of sitting on an (open) energy packet in the car after split-boarding up Tamarack Peak in the Mt. Rose backcountry. Kevin had on his new Arc’Teryx Beta AR Pants. These hyper-durable pants were not ruined but definitely needed a cleaning to get the GU off them.

These awesome pants are packable, waterproof pants featuring minimal bulk, exceptional waterproofing, and reinforced knees, seat, and lower legs to ensure a long lasting construction.

BEFORE

Enter TEC. Daniel Cates (Owner of Technical Equipment Cleaners) in Truckee, CA came to the rescue. His professional cleaning service shined brightly as he washed, brushed, washed and brushed again the incredible Beta AR Pants.

Thank you to TEC for bringing Kevin’s pants back to life!

AFTER

Watch the video below to see the aftermath of Kevin’s mishap and our tour up Tamarack Peak!

Five Skis Tested for 2015-16

February 24th, 2015 By   

The #TMS Crew headed to Mt. Rose Ski Area for the WWSRA (Western Winter Sports Rep Association) Demo Days. FIVE AWESOME SKIS FROM THE FUTURE WERE TESTED. 

READ MORE IF YOU LIKE COOL SKIS…

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AB and KS at Mt. Rose

Nik Somers, Kevin Snow and I got out and tested new skis on what was the first major storm cycle to hit the Tahoe area since the first part of the season. Mt. Rose received around 40″ of new snow and 15-25″ at its base. Then, the wind came in and made things interesting. We skied every conceivable type of snow condition (powder, blown powder, ice pellets, crust and groomed runs).

Five skis were reviewed and tested.

One ski will likely make a return to the wall, while four others might make a grand entrance next fall…

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Blizzard Zero G 108 and Zero G 98 Skis

SKI TEST #1: Blizzard Zero G 108

Test Size and Weight: Length – 185cm, Weight 1,750 grams (per ski)
Binding: Marker Kingpin
Boot: Dynafit Mercury
- Beta: Lengths: 171, 178, 185 cm | Sidecut: 136-108-122mm | Radius: [185 cm] 27.0m  | Construction: Sandwich Compound | Sidewall; Carbon Drive Technology.

From the Blizzard Skis 2015-2016 Catalog…ZeroG-108Diagram

Carbon Drive is the integration of a 3D unidirectional carbon fiber frame with an ultra-lightweight palowina woodcore construction. The carbon frame’s 3D geometry guarantees optimal flex and torsional rigidity. The end result is industry leading lightweight products that deliver a level of downhill performance that is unprecedented in the world of alpine touring and backcountry skiing.

REVIEW: The major buzz words in ski technology have included carbon. While carbon offers great rigidity and stiffness, it often doesn’t give with each turn as much, which translates into a ski that needs to really be driven (read: BUCKLE UP). The new Blizzard Zero G is a good mix of both playfulness and a hard-charger. A super nimble and lightweight option for the backcountry enthusiast, this ski is a true testament to the advanced technology and construction found in many ski options today.With a mixed bag of conditions to ski in on the demo day at Mt. Rose, the Blizzard Zero G really shined. The one con in the ski I tested was that you really need to stay on it. Just like most of Blizzard’s great line-up of skis, this new beauty needs attention. Drive it and stay on the gas and you’ll have a great day.

Final word: A solid winner and “go to” ski for any conditions. Look for them on the TMS ski wall in 2016.

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Salomon Q-BC Lab Skis (2015 Top-Sheet Graphic)

SKI TEST #2: Salomon Q-BC Lab

Test Size and Weight: Length – 184cm, Weight 1,800 grams (per ski)
Binding: Dynafit TLT Radical ST 2 AT Ski Binding
Boot: Dynafit Mercury
- Beta: Lengths: 176, 184 cm | Sidecut: 140-114-128mm | Radius: [176cm] 21m, [184cm] 24m | Construction: Sandwich ABS, SidewallAn exception balance of touring efficiency and downhill performance, the Salomon Q BC Lab Skis are a full wood core with ultra-light CFX Superfiber reinforcement for the ultimate ski experience. The perfect balance of downhill performance and touring efficiency.  Salomon’s revolutionary, ultra light CFX Superfiber reinforcement and a full woodcore combine for stability, control and response not found on other lightweight touring skis.

*Editor’s note: This ski is not changing for the 2015-16 ski season (just the top-sheet). If you’d like to seize the day and grab a pair of your own, click HERE to purchase a pair!

REVIEW: This ski is the epitome of Salomon’s commitment to being a pure mountain company. A great soft snow (and powder) ski, the Q-BC Lab shines when used in variable to ideal conditions. Although it has a 114mm waist, this ski is surprisingly nimble. The full-length wood laminates combined with the inherent backcountry ski features such as “free hook taper” (diminishing hooking up in powder) and the built in skin tail clips make this ski a machine to not only easily climb mountains, but have the confidence to ski like you want to on the ride down.

Final word: A great backcountry option, the Salomon Q-BC Lab is a great decision for those in need of a lightweight 4×4 ski.

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K2 Pinnacle 105 Skis

SKI TEST #3: K2 Pinnacle 105

Test Size and Weight: Length – 184cm, Weight N/A
Binding: Marker Griffon
Boot: K2 Pinnacle 130
- Beta: Lengths: 170, 177, 184, 191 cm | Sidecut: 137-105-121mm | Radius: [184cm]19 m | Construction: Triaxial Braid, Hyrbitech Sidewall, Metal Laminate

The Pinnacle 105 is positioned in the middle of the new Freeride series as the do-anything, go-anywhere, ski everything, quiver of one. Even the most confident skiers will benefit from the lightweight Nanolite core. Helping navigate through trees or floating in power, as much as the solid and supportive wood cores with metal laminate over the edges when charging firmer, variable snow.

REVIEW: The many technologies that K2 has seamlessly blended into this new ski are evident in that you never really need to think about it when arcing turns, bashing bumps or smearing soft snow! The diminished swing weight and torsional stiffness allow this ski to effortlessly turn, glide and rule the entire mountain. I would recommend this ski for anyone that loves to ski the whole mountain with confidence.

Final Word: The Pinnacle 105 is your quiver killer for 2015-16!

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SKI TEST #4: K2 Pinnacle 95

Test Size and Weight: Length – 184cm, Weight N/A
- Binding: Marker Griffon
- Boot: K2 Spyne
Beta: Lengths: 170, 177, 184, 191 cm | Sidecut: 132-95-115mm | Radius: [184cm]17 m | Construction: Triaxial Braid, Hyrbitech Sidewall, Metal Laminate

Attack the resort in any snow condition. The Pinnacle 95 incorporates the new K2 Konic Technology with a high performance, lightweight Nanolite center core for added ease and control, while the wood core and metal laminate along the perimeter of the ski engages all the power, strength and stability needed for all mountain dominance.

REVIEW: The K2 Pinnacle 95 is nearly the same as the larger 105, but much more nimble. Grab a pair of these if you prefer a Ginsu knife over a machete. 

Final word: Rinse. Lather. Repeat. This ski does it all!

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SKI TEST #5: Volkl 100 Eight

- Test Size and Weight: Length – 184cm, Weight N/A
- Binding: Marker Griffon
- Boot: K2 Spyne 130
- Beta: Lengths: 173, 181, 189 cm | Sidecut: 141-108-124mm | Radius: [173cm] 19.7m, [181cm] 22m, [189cm] 24.5m | Construction: 3D Ridge, Tough Box | Core: Multi Layer Wood

An all time favorite ski, the Volkl Gotama is being replaced this upcoming winter season (2015-16) with a similar yet very new ski, the 100 Eight. This ski features a new construction from Volkl called the 3D Ridge. This layup offers a lightweight, lively ski feel – 141-108-124mm shape, flat tail design, Full Rocker, Smart Early Taper and an open (20 to 22m) radius combine for a smooth, playful ride for a variety of conditions, from deep powder to groomers.

REVIEW: Although I am sad to see the heralded Volkl Gotama become extinct, the future is always brighter in regards to new technology in ski construction, shape, camber profile and rocker. The 100 Eight is no exception to progression. Out with the old, in with the NEW. This ski does EVERYTHING (well,  maybe not ski moguls that well). I can’t wait to rip up the in-bounds terrain, drop cliffs, ski powder and even take this versatile ski into the backcountry. 

Final word: A lightweight, 4×4 machine, the Volkl 100 Eight is yet another great option to slim your ski quiver to ONE.

 

Salomon Rocker 2 100 Skis – Review

February 24th, 2015 By   

This post comes from Colorado native Tiffany Hansen, a guest blogger (snowboardmountaineer.com) and Boulder, CO resident who recently relocated back from Southern California to be closer to the mountains, the snow and the great Colorado outdoors. When Tiffany isn’t working on behalf of her clients, she is finding new adventures in the backcountry and fine-tuning her collection of backcountry gear. Watch for more gear reviews and fun reading from Tiffany and other Ambassadors of Tahoe Mountain Sports.

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Tiffany Hansen

Salomon Rocker 2 100 Skis

*What: Solomon Rocker2 100, 170cm

*Where: I have owned these skis since September 2014 and have put them to test on multiple varieties of Intermountain Colorado snow both on and off-piste ranging from the early season crust of Andrew’s Glacier, Dragontail and the Apron in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) to the fresh-dry powder of Terrain Park (RMNP Lake Haiyaha area), the packed and fresh powder of Breckenridge, and fresh powder on top of hard pack at the East Portal trail up to Forest Lakes. These skis have traversed the Colorado Front Range and have given me the confidence to take them into the backcountry of the San Juans for some serious spring backcountry adventures.

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*Pros: The Rocker2 is a lightweight ride and an ideal all-mountain ski, having proven itself worthy of handling the gravely diverse snow conditions found throughout any given day in the Colorado backcountry. I love groomers and packed powder and prefer a ski that can effortlessly carve the hard snow. The Full Woodcore offers optimum stability and rebound, while maximizing ski to snow contact while filtering vibrations. The twin rocker tips and the loose camber underfoot glide through turns and don’t get grabby and allowed me to maintain control at higher speeds, even though technically this ski is built for lower speeds. The hook-free taper of the big rocker tip moves the skis widest point to the middle and performs well in dry powder, allowing me to keep the ski flat to easily float through pleasure turns. Conversely, I gain maximum control if I roll and apply power and engage a hard edge for sharper handling. The ski is immediately responsive delivering impressive terrain adaptation making it a blast to ride in the conditions I prefer the most.

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Product Features:
Twin Rocker shape, full wood core and full sandwich construction, the Rocker 2 100 is equally at home in the park & pipe as it is off piste in powder. One-stop-shopping for both freeriders and the less acrobatic on and off piste adventures looking for an energetic, all-mountain ski that does it all.

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Technologies include: 

- Full Woodcore: full-length wood laminates, from tip to tail, giving optimum stability and rebound, while maximizing ski to snow contact and filtering vibrations

- Full Sandwich Walls: laminate construction with fll length ABS sidewalls give extraordinary smooth ski/snow contact and a great terrain adaptation. Laminated construction enables us to combine optimum materials layers for targeted performance

- Pulse Pad: a layer of rubber all along the edges and in critical zones of the ski for smoother ride & improved ski-snow contact

- Hook Free Taper: the widest point in the sidecut tapers in toward the tip earlier for less drag and hooking in powder. Swing weight is also reduced making the ski even more maneuverable in difficult snow

- Wide Edges: thicker edges for increased durability and improved shock resistance

- Total Edge Reinforcement: fiber reinforcement directly on top of edges improves durability, edge grip, and shock resistance

- Twin Rocker: long, medium height rocker profile at the tip and tail enables easy pivoting with maximum flotation and maneuverability in powder. The ski retains a long contact zone on edge with camber in the middle of the ski for stability and edge grip

- Carve Zone: the traditionally cambered section of twin rocker skis where the sidecut is focused on more power, energy and edge grip

- Glossy

ProductSpecs

*Cons: These skis have proven to be more difficult in both resort and backcountry “mashed-potato” or soft powder due to the narrow waist. These conditions are more easily skiable with a fat ski. However, given all the other technology packed in to the Rocker 2 100 this is a minor grievance.

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*Suggestions: It’s hard to say what modifications would improve this ski. Increasing the width to accommodate soft powder would have a negative influence on carving performance. Unless you’ve got quite the quiver, for an all-mountain ski that covers many conditions, I feel this ski has hit the target and I wouldn’t change a thing.

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*Summary: Solomon Rocker 2 100 are worthy of their mid-range price tag. The twin rocker/camber combo delivers an impressive all-mountain performance on most every terrain that is difficult to come by in a single pair of skis, especially in this price point. The next offering in this profile is the K2 Annex 98 Freeride at a slightly higher price point. However, you don’t get the twin rocker which is attractive to the new-style skier. If you do not want to have to pack multiple pairs of skis, this is definitely your best bet for the money!

Salomon Rocker 2 100 Skis
Salomon Rocker 2 100 Skis
Sale Price: $479.95
Arva Neo Avalanche Beacon
Arva Neo Avalanche Beacon
Sale Price: $287.96

Demo Alpine Touring Skis, Snowshoes and More in Truckee!

February 13th, 2015 By   

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Tahoe Mountain Sports offers a complete selection of  Volkl, K2, Blizzard, G3, Coalition, Black Diamond, BCA, Mammut, Ortovox, Pieps, Dynafit, Garmont, Scott and Dynafit alpine touring and safety equipment for rental in Truckee, CA to be used Lake Tahoe, CA or around the country. All backcountry skis, telemark skis, Salomon Nordic skis (boots and poles) or MSR snowshoe rentals can be picked up and dropped off during our business hours. All rental rates are good for a 24-hour period and user of equipment must be present to rent backcountry gear.

Click here for the Tahoe Mountain Sports Outdoor Gear Rental rates.

If you would like to demo or rent something not on the list, just call (530-536-5200) and we will be happy to coordinate your outdoor adventure. All rentals or demos can be put towards the purchase price if you decide to purchase the equipment up to $150.

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Pieps DSP Sport Avalanche Beacon – Review

February 3rd, 2015 By   

This post comes from Shaun Nauman, a blogger (snowboardmountaineer.com) and Boulder, CO resident. When Shaun isn’t studying snow hydrology and forecasting avalanches, the AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Instructor is finding new adventures in the backcountry on his splitboard. Watch for more gear reviews and fun reading from Shaun and other Ambassadors of Tahoe Mountain Sports.

ShaunNauman

Shaun Nauman

*What:  Pieps DSP Sport Avalanche Beacon
*Where:  We put this beacon through multiple scenarios on the snow, including signal search, course search, and fine search. The Pieps DSP Sport locked on to the ‘victim’ transmitting beacon at remarkable distances. The beacon was put through the paces with various flux lines as well. Beacons transmit a signal on flux lines as shown in the graphics below. This beacon was tested side-by-side with the Pieps DSP Classic and numerous other beacons at AIARE ITC (American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education Instructor Training Course) and numerous trials in the backcountry at Rocky Mountain National Park.

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