/ Another Avalanche in Scotland

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Trangia - on 14 Feb 2013
Breaking news on BBC News just now. Avalanche in Cairngorms. MR Teams and two helicopters deployed. Positive thoughts for all involved.




Ed: See news here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/news/item.php?id=67828
Trangia - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply:

People are missing
AG - on 14 Feb 2013
Trangia - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to AG:

Oh no! As I said originally - positive thoughts to all involved, and hoping for a happy outcome.
Only a hill - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia:
I really hope there are no deaths or injuries this time.

The press are going to have a field day whatever the outcome, I suspect =(
Trangia - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Only a hill:

BBC just reported 1 man airlifted to hospital, 2 still missing.
Ron Walker - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia:
> (In reply to Only a hill)
>
> BBC just reported 1 man airlifted to hospital, 2 still missing.

http://www.northern.police.uk/News-and-Media/news-item.htm?item_id=PR5453_2013
OwenF - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Only a hill:

Yes aside from consideration of those concerned, the consistent nature of these incidents (and associated media attention/hype) is making it very difficult to convince relatives that winter mountain travel CAN be a safe activity.

Hope for the best all round.
dek - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Ron Walker:
Quite good ice conditions were reported over at Lurchers recently, do we know if it's a climbing party, or walkers who are involved?
Ron Walker - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to dek:

I only know what's on the news and all the helicopter activity here. It's an area that would be used by instructors running winter skills and snowhole courses when the ski road is closed, as well as climbers accessing Lurcher's crag and hillwalkers on the way into the Lairig Ghru or Braeriach, so not good...
Kevin Woods - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to OwenF:
> (In reply to Only a hill)
>
> Yes aside from consideration of those concerned, the consistent nature of these incidents (and associated media attention/hype) is making it very difficult to convince relatives that winter mountain travel CAN be a safe activity.
>
> Hope for the best all round.

I totally agree with this. This is the first winter I've had relatives other than close family asking will I be going out in those conditions?

Hope for the best on this one. As Only A Hill says press would have a field day otherwise. _
dek - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Ron Walker:
Cheers Ron, no doubt the whole story will come out very soon.
Ron Walker - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to dek:
Another update here but it doesn't sound positive see http://www.northern.police.uk/News-and-Media/news-item.htm?item_id=PR5454_2013
KMC - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia:

Cairngorm MRT in the thick of it again, Kudos to you boys and girls, it's been a busy few weeks. good effort.
Tim Chappell - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to OwenF:
> (In reply to Only a hill)
>
> Yes aside from consideration of those concerned, the consistent nature of these incidents (and associated media attention/hype) is making it very difficult to convince relatives that winter mountain travel CAN be a safe activity.
>


Presumably, on the same basis, these relatives are horrified if you suggest taking the car out of the drive?
Neil Pratt - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia:

2 unaccounted for climbers are on their way to hospital in Aberdeen - no indication as to their condition.
Trangia - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply

BBC has just reported that the rescue operation has now been closed down and a total of 3 people have been airlifted to hospital. No news on the condition of the casualties.

Lets hope their injuries are not serious.
OwenF - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:

Well I do still get texts from my mum saying 'be careful driving today'....if that's what you mean?

But it's not unreasonable to see how the uninitiated could view 5 consecutive weeks of near fatal/fatal incidents as a dangerous activity/places for their loved ones to be involved in/around.. Fortunately those same people know that I am capable of assessing risks and making sound judgements.

Just saying....it's difficult to convince given recent specific incidents.
davy_boy - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Tim Chappell:
> (In reply to OwenF)
> [...]
>
>
> Presumably, on the same basis, these relatives are horrified if you suggest taking the car out of the drive?
problem is a lot of peoples relatives have never been near a mountain and dont actualy understand the ins and outs of what people are doing and tend to believe all the scaremongering that the media put out.

Dave80 - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia: Reporter on Radio Scotland has just been saying that the police have told him that the 3 rescued have serious injuries. Here's hoping they all make a full recovery!
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muppetfilter - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to davy_boy: That sad thing is that it isn't scaremongering... Inside the badly written inacurate text there have been an terrible number of fatalities in recent weeks.
Castleman - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to muppetfilter:

Thoughts with all those affected. Well done MRT again.

For those that haven't seen them before, these are worth a read:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=5178

http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=5179
davy_boy - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to muppetfilter: i agree that the fatalities are terrible but the media is scaremongering in my opinion. mostly due to the fact that the journalists dont understand mountaineering the facts are that there have probably been thousands of people on the mountains this year and only a small number of accidents but these are the only things that the media seem to pick up on. which causes people with no knowledge to think were all insane to be going anywhere near the hills at this time of year.
ire - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia: It's a shame to see such terrible news again. Hopefully all concerned are OK.

On the point of uninitiated relatives - I find it increasingly difficult and sometimes a pointless task trying to convince others of the merits and safety of what we do.

Some on this forum have suggested that this would never happen to them as they know when to make the right judgements. I think we have to accept that that is not always the case and sometimes unforeseen accidents can occur. I'm pretty sure the people involved in to today's avalanche had the correct skills and knowledge to know what is safe and what is not. In short, this could have happened to anybody.
Simon Caldwell - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia:

The BBC report has been updated to say that two of the casualties are critically injured.
Sounds like they were buried for a few hours.
Dave80 - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Toreador: Yeah, I heard that. Saying the first was recovered within 15 minutes and the other two some time later. Two critically ill, third condition unknown is the report they've just made on the 6pm headlines on Radio Scotland.
davy_boy - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia: one had been burried in 4m of snow so must have been a large avalanche hope everyone recovers quickly.
JSA - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia:

Sadly two people have died and the third is critical.

Thoughts with friends and family of all involved.
davy_boy - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to JSA: never said anything on the bbc news 5 mins ago. sad news though rip.
marmot hunter - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to davy_boy:
More terrible news, let's hope it is the last of this winter.

At the risk of being shouted down again , would transceivers have helped?
Glenmore have a transceiver pit for training so obviously think they have some merit in Scottish mountains. I was on a course only a couple of years back where the perceived wisdom was that in the UK avalanches were not deep enough to need transceivers, probes etc as normal winter kit.
Certainly packing ours for next week.
JSA - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to davy_boy:

It's been reported on the ITN evening news.
CM - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to JSA: So sad. Heartfelt thoughts to those involved and affected.
Simon Caldwell - on 14 Feb 2013
jas wood - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia: sadly I believe this was a party of six 20 mins behind us we chatted with on the walk in to lurchers, witnessed the aftermath as we walked out. Sobering. Thoughts with families.
rebeccam - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia:
Avalanche has been listed on the SAIS website timed at 13.30

"North -East wall of Chalamain gap - a steep slope - convex shape - triggered avalanche approx 400m wide 1-2m deep crown wall, debris 3-5m deep buried 3 persons 3-4 m deep - all extracted and evacuated".

Heard one report that there were two parties of six in the area.

Very sad to hear of the fatalities.

AndrewHuddart - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to rebeccam:

3-4m deep...Extraction must have been extremely hard work indeed.

Sad news all around.
Nath93 - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to marmot hunter: I don't really think now is the time to be asking if a transceiver would have been beneficial to these people. Time will come when more news surfaces but for now I think its probably better to pay our respects and leave it at that.
yer maw on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia: Deary me very sad news. Condolences to all concerned, this hasn't been a good winter with the heavy snow fall and wildly fluctuating temperatures.

Stay safe folks.
Andy Say - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Nath93:
> (In reply to marmot hunter) I don't really think now is the time to be asking if a transceiver would have been beneficial to these people. Time will come when more news surfaces but for now I think its probably better to pay our respects and leave it at that.

So don't ask. Wait for better information.
Kevin Woods - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Andy Say: I think you read his post wrong
Andy Say - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply to Kevin Woods:
Apologies. You are right. I should have looked further up the thread and realised that this was a response to a previous poster.

Lets wait for the facts to emerge before we look for answers/solutions/suggestions, eh?
Trangia - on 14 Feb 2013
In reply :

Very sad news
goose299 - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia:
Sad news. My thoughts to their families
estivoautumnal - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to marmot hunter:
> (In reply to davy_boy)
> More terrible news, let's hope it is the last of this winter.
>
> At the risk of being shouted down again , would transceivers have helped?
>

Possibly. It's certainly a good time to be thinking about using them with so much unstable snow around.

Martin W on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to rebeccam:

> "North -East wall of Chalamain gap..."

I can't find the report on the SAIS web site (where do they keep those things?) but my understanding is that Chalamain Gap runs pretty much directly NE-SW so I'm confused as to how it manages to have a NE wall. However, that's neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things.

Tragically, the BBC and NC are now reporting that the third casualty has succumbed to their injuries. No names are being made public until the next of kin have been informed. Thoughts are with all those affected.
george mc - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Martin W:
> (In reply to rebeccam)
>
> [...]
>
> I can't find the report on the SAIS web site (where do they keep those things?) but my understanding is that Chalamain Gap runs pretty much directly NE-SW so I'm confused as to how it manages to have a NE wall. However, that's neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things.


There are several micro terrain features in the gap - just as there are in most mountainous areas. These figure in a phenomena called 'cross loading' where winds blowing the snow around (even sometimes against the general wind direction)can load slope aspects you would not otherwise suspect i.e. southerly winds would generally load a northerly aspect but on east facing you could still have micro terrain features that face north.

Erik B - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Martin W: the photo on this article will help explain, pretty sure you can see the crown wall on this, high up on a NEish facing slope above the gap,looking at contours on map it looks convex

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/two-die-as-death-toll-on-mountains-rises-to-eight.20221...
Kimberley on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Martin W:

> I can't find the report on the SAIS web site (where do they keep those things?) but my understanding is that Chalamain Gap runs pretty much directly NE-SW so I'm confused as to how it manages to have a NE wall.

Indeed tragic news that all three have passed away.

Martin W, go to the SAIS home page and scroll down on the righthand side and you will see Recorded Avalanche activity - last 48hrs. It shows the location of the avalanche on the map and some text.

A 400m wide release 1 to 2m deep which I suspect may have been stopped in a terrain trap ie bottom of gully would explain why the victims were buried 3 to 4m deep.

On the same home page on the left side you will find yesterdays forecast in the Forecast archive tab
mac fae stirling - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Erik B: a better view here - i think. from 32secs.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-21467638

terrible oucome.



Martin W on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Kimberley:

> go to the SAIS home page and scroll down on the righthand side and you will see Recorded Avalanche activity - last 48hrs

Thanks for that. Terrain trap was the first thing I thought of when the reports said the incident had occurred in the Chalamain Gap, must have been dreadful for everyone involved.
Milesy - on 15 Feb 2013
This is really sad and some of the pictures this time really touched a spot with me this time seeing a Nepal boot. It really strikes home the reality of this incident and I feel more of a true connection to this than I have had on others :( Sympathies to friends and family of those who have been taken.

I would stay away from the Daily Mail page. My mood is not good on this Friday after the comments.
Erik B - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Milesy: re the Daily Mail comments section, im ashamed to be a human being at times, thank god we have the mountains to get away from these tossers.
Only a hill - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Erik B:
Some really shocking comments there. Fortunately our voice is stronger than those of the armchair critics. My article on the subject has already been shared dozens of times, and I've seen plenty more posts like it from the climbing community over the last day. The voice of sanity is making itself heard!
unclesamsauntibess - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to davy_boy:
> (In reply to muppetfilter) i agree that the fatalities are terrible but the media is scaremongering in my opinion. mostly due to the fact that the journalists dont understand mountaineering the facts are that there have probably been thousands of people on the mountains this year and only a small number of accidents but these are the only things that the media seem to pick up on. which causes people with no knowledge to think were all insane to be going anywhere near the hills at this time of year.

At least the media know what a full stop is there for.
Simon Caldwell - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia:

Latest update
http://www.northern.police.uk/News-and-Media/news-item.htm?item_id=PR5460_2013

"It is now known that there were two groups of climbers in the area at the time on opposite sides of the gorge (gap). One group was part of a Glenmore Lodge organised winter skills training course and the second was a separate group comprising off duty RAF personnel who were climbing in the area."
millsy - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia:

This is really sad.

I had the pleasure of climbing with Rimon when we both lived in Yorkshire. Had some good days at Almscliffe and an ascent of Carnage Left Hand at Malham-memorable.
Lovely bloke, very tragic for all concerned
John Rushby - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Only a hill:

As I put on another thread, it looks like the over all view on the DM website is common sense, with a lot of climbers making some very sensible points.

I noted yours (as Nevis the Cat) and the chap from the MRT put is better than anyone else could.

This all feels such a random and tragic event. Deeply saddening.
Zoomer - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia: Rimon was a lovely bloke and a great climbing partner, very experienced and always happy to help out a novice. He will be sadly missed in military mountaineering circles. RIP mate.
birdman - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia:

Rimon was a top bloke. Very sad loss to the RAF and military mountaineering circles. Did some spectacular routes with Rimon in the alps. Gods speed mate!
davy_boy - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to unclesamsauntibess:
> (In reply to davy_boy)
> [...]
>
> At least the media know what a full stop is there for.

who are you the grammar police get a grip theres far more serious things going on than taking the piss out of other peoples writing skills.
jas wood - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to george mc: we walked through 20 mins before the incident and noticed one side of the gap really loaded, left side looking in, and other scoured bare. The aftermath was very sobering on our walk back through :-( condolences to all concerned.
Tony the Blade on 15 Feb 2013

It is with deep sadness that we report the death of Sqn Leader Rimon Than, who died yesterday in an avalanche in the Chalamain Gap, near Cairgorm . He was a fantastic mountaineer and a talented doctor who contributed enormously to the mountaineering community. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this tragic time. (AMA)

Condolences to family and friends. So sad
hedgehog77 - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia: R.I.P Rimon Than. It was a pleasure to climb with you. Sad new for all.
Trixster - on 15 Feb 2013
RIP Rimon, a gentleman. Per Ardua Ad Astra.
Gwilymstarks on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Trixster:

I only had the pleasure of meeting him at the start of this year, but hoped to climb with him again. Sadly this will not be the case.
jules699 - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Trixster: Knew Rimon from my RAF days and one of the others whose name hasnt been released yet. Absolutely devastated. God love you both.
thedatastream on 15 Feb 2013
Really sad news.

The avalanche sounds pretty big by UK standards - 400m wide and 1-2m deep crown wall. Is this unusually large?
PNWRob - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to marmot hunter:

"At the risk of being shouted down again , would transceivers have helped?
Glenmore have a transceiver pit for training so obviously think they have some merit in Scottish mountains. I was on a course only a couple of years back where the perceived wisdom was that in the UK avalanches were not deep enough to need transceivers, probes etc as normal winter kit."

Who taught this course?


Tony the Blade on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to PNWRob:

Sorry if I appear to be a knob head by saying this, that's not my intention.

Please can we keep speculation and questions of avalanche safety to another thread http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=538771

There are people on here that knew the guys and I just think a degree of sensitivity is called for.

Many thanks
Dave Kerr - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Tony the Blade:

Perhaps you could start a dedicated 'in memoriam' thread so that noone is in any doubt what it is for?
Tony the Blade on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr:

I didn't know them so would feel uncomfortable setting that up.

Maybe I was wrong in my request, happen a tad over sensitive.

Hey-ho
Dave Kerr - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Tony the Blade:

I understand the strong feelings.

I also understand that people want to know details so that they can improve their own understanding of avalanches.

It's a difficult situation.
clivecops - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia: a sad incident, thoughts to the families, I have been through there loads of times without a thought ........... RIP ;(
marmot hunter - on 15 Feb 2013
In reply to PNWRob:
I'm not naming names on here. Suffice to say it was a 'national centre'.

The various threads on a number of forums all indicate the same thing - kit like transceivers (which some consider essential) are repeatedly poo-pooed by experienced people who labour under some attitude that trekking poles will double as probes and the rest is just fussing.

Really?

I was soundly shouted down a few weeks back asking if VAT should be removed from Av kit to encourage purchasing and to recognise its role in mountain safety (as per bike helmets).

Whatever, ours are packed for next week. Why wouldn't we?
Simon Caldwell - on 16 Feb 2013
In reply to marmot hunter:
> was soundly shouted down a few weeks back asking if VAT should be removed from Av kit

The main disagreement was actually with your assertion that it was impossible to be safe without a shovel, probe and tranceiver.
dale1968 - on 16 Feb 2013
Jon Ratcliffe - on 16 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia: Rimon was a regular at The Indy for years. He was a talented climber with a very affable manner and our thoughts go out to everyone at RAF Valley and of course his family and other friends that knew him.
Jon Ratcliffe - on 16 Feb 2013
In reply to Jon Ratcliffe: I would also add that in light of this sad news this is not the thread to be discussing or debating the carrying of transceivers, etc in my opinion. Another specific thread in 'Winter Climbing' maybe more appropriate.
Simon Caldwell - on 16 Feb 2013
marmot hunter - on 16 Feb 2013
In reply to Jon Ratcliffe:
> (In reply to Jon Ratcliffe) I would also add that in light of this sad news this is not the thread to be discussing or debating the carrying of transceivers, etc in my opinion. Another specific thread in 'Winter Climbing' maybe more appropriate.

The title is 'Another Avalanche in Scotland' - it isn't ,as other have said, a memorial thread either. I am deeply saddened that yet another avalanche has taken talented, young climbers.
Anyone using any forums knows how threads evolve - of course something as open as this title will drift from one aspect to another.
Avalanche rescue kit being discussed on a thread about 'another avalanche in Scotland' is completely on task. 'Winter climbing' would mean many walkers wouldn't read it and they are also quite likely to be engulfed by an avalanche.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Castleman - on 16 Feb 2013
In reply to marmot hunter:

A good point - and I expect those affected by the recent avalanches would rather the debate was held and was seen by more, rather than less, people.
marmot hunter - on 16 Feb 2013
In reply to Castleman:
An equally good point.
Our outdoor press could do more really, they always review winter boots, axes, crampons, jackets etc but do many of them cover probes, shovels, transceivers and skills necessary?
In the late 80s early 90s cycling mags and the UCI started a sea-change in attitude to helmets. Ludites were no doubt against it, now you'd be considered a rank amateur without a helmet.
Cost is an excuse not a reason for most. Rental should be easy enough but I guess most shops in mountainous areas of the Uk don't offer rental of this kit, but they will rent boots, axes and crampons.
Trangia - on 16 Feb 2013
In reply to marmot hunter:

When I started this thread I had no idea that the outcome would be so tragic as it was breaking news at the time.

I am with those who suggest that it is no longer the right thread in which to speculate or discuss safety issues. A number of posters have stated that they know some of the victims and out of respect for them and the families of the deceased I also suggest that you and others who want to continue your discussions do so in another thread, of which there are several, keeping your comments general in nature and not specifically about this tragedy.

No doubt you will appreciate that continued speculation is wholly inappropriate and unhelpful bearing in mind that there are yet to be Inquests which will reveal the facts.
marmot hunter - on 16 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia:
I agree with you on the whole. The title could have done with more thought really, you're a long standing part of UKC and know as well as I do how these things evolve.
I am unaware of speculation and disagree, safety issues need to be discussed far and wide.
As others have said Scottish winter is not to be under-estimated and I really don't think any of the recent victims would ever be considered anything ther than highly experienced. This is what makes it so much worse, it just shows how unpredictable avalanches can be. Hence the title 'One in a million?'. As someone else pointed out the wquestion mark is very significant in the book title.
Inquest frequently take years to come up with any conclusions. I've had experience of one outdoor related one.
Simon Caldwell - on 16 Feb 2013
In reply to marmot hunter:
There are a few less specific threads running that are discussing safety issues and are probably a better place than this thread
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=538771
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=538793
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=538835
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=538740
NickK123 - on 16 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia: Rimon and Fran were superb members of the Royal Air Force Mountaineering Association. There was little doubt that Rimon was a very talented climber, with prowess on rock, ice and in the Greater Ranges. He was enthusiastic about using his qualifications and experience to help those less experienced members of the Association. He was also great fun. Fran was a individual who would always step into the breech - whether it was leading an expedition, filling a committee position or just adding to the positive atmosphere at an Association meet. They will be missed significantly by the Association and the wider Services' and civilian mountaineering community - as highlighted by the many messages of sympathy received, Thoughts are with their families at this very difficult time.
Feeling bold on 16 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia:

I was shocked to learn that this incident involved someone I know. Rimon was a warm, friendly and truly inspiring man. He will be a great loss to his family, friends and the climbing and mountaineering circles he was part of.

Maria (RAFMA)
OwenF - on 16 Feb 2013
In reply to Erik B:

Second that re comments on DM article.. Only read a few of the worst but can safely say they are appalling! Only redeeming counter comment was from MRT representative telling folk to not speak for other people. Hear hear I say!
Fencer - on 18 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia: Respected Journalist Dave ???? I think that's what is known as an oxymoron.
Simon Caldwell - on 19 Feb 2013
In reply to Trangia:

The third victim has been named:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-21511395
Very sad.
jthet - on 21 Feb 2013
Utterly gutted for two friends and the third person who was sadly taken away from us. Fran and Rimon where the nicest and brightest people you could meet and had a passion in mountaineering. I had the pleasure to climb with Rimon in both the UK and Alps. He was one of the most talented climbers and mountaineers I have known. They will be dearly missed. My thoughts are with family and friends.
Richard White on 26 Feb 2013
In reply:

Rimon was a good friend and climbing partner. He was a solid and steady partner in tricky situations as well as being a really nice guy. I have had some of my best climbing experiences with Rimon and it has been an honour and a privilege to know him.

I have put some pictures of Rimon in my photo gallery for those who knew him.

Rich.

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