Advice needed New driving to thredbo help

Swan Valkyrie

Early Days
Mar 1, 2021
28
16
8
Hi All,

It will be the first time going to thredbo hopefully this winter. I was initially going to stay in Jindy and get a bus shuttle from there to thredbo. But now i’m considering driving but worried about driving conditions.

I’ve been googling up for a few months based on methods and general conditions but I was hoping to get further answers.

I’ve got a Subaru Impreza RS 2010. Its an AWD, manual. I don’t like driving up hills normally because of stopping and rolling back slightly so I try and avoid. I’m also not confident driving in snow/icy roads (never done it)

- Would it be better to hire an Auto? if yes, do you need to use the gears option going down the hill if it’s icy?
- I’m aware snow chains need to be carried but not normally required. I’m afraid that even after being shown by someone at servo I won’t be able to put them on properly. What is the risk ratio of needing chains to thredbo in late July?
- Do you need chains to Jindy?
- Is it easier to stay in Jindy and catch a shuttle or is it super expensive?
- Im driving with 2 others but only I have the manual license, only other car is 2WD thats auto and would need chains... should we just take this or hire? Again worried if snowy conditions would need to slow down using gears right on icy hill? (We have never used gears on auto but ive seen its possible?)
- was hoping to stay somewhere in thredbo for ski in ski out and not have to worry about catching shuttle each day, but thats not deal breaker if shuttles were cheap
- if we stay on mountain can we hire gear from there? Many sites say hire from jindy first
- is the hill extremely steep to thredbo? Is it like going from queenstown to remarkables/coronet steep? Or windy? (Scares me a little haha)

Worried about getting lift passes this year and im sure a few people would be also. Don't really want to book accomodation until I know I can get a pass. Hard to get free cancellation on the mountain.

any advice would be appreciated. I would rather be over prepared than under, and while im a confident driver I get panicky in the rain (or dry) being in a steep hill in my manual and someone behind me - given this Id really want an easier option (eg hire auto maybe).

Thank you for your time and advice!!
(If it wasnt for covid i’d be doing NZ and catching shuttle :( seems so much easier/cheaper)
 

Legs Akimbo

Grumblebum
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There is no bus shuttle.

Driving to Thredbo is easy. It is a gradual climb - only a couple of steepish hills.

Thredbo village is below the natural snowline. Chains are only required on a few occasions (and it is good news when they are). You are not required to carry chains on the drive to Thredbo but it is a good idea for, as we say, more abundant caution.
 

Interruptedbyfireworks

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is the hill extremely steep to thredbo? Is it like going from queenstown to remarkables/coronet steep? Or windy? (Scares me a little haha)
It's nowhere near as bad as this! I was super scared on the bus in NZ, and I'm a nervous driver, but I find driving to Thredbo fine. On snowy days I can be nervous going to Perisher, but going to Thredbo it is less exposed so less windy even if it is snowing. Just take it slow, fit chains when directed, and don't ride your brakes down the hill :)
 

telecrag

Old n' Crusty
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It is true that you are not required to carry chains to drive to Thredbo, but if its snowy they set up at the chain bays, and can direct you to fit them, and if you don't have them, turn you around. However AWD are exempt anyway. Its an easy drive, easier than Perisher as its lower (less flat, measuring top to bottom, haha), and nothing at all like NZ.
 

J_busworth

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The shuttle is super expensive from memory, around $60 per person per day.

The drive through to Thredbo is easy. Don't ride your brakes on the downhill side of the Penderlea hill (use your gears instead!) and you'll be fine
 

Interruptedbyfireworks

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I’m afraid that even after being shown by someone at servo I won’t be able to put them on properly
Chains aren't too hard to fit once you practise a bit with them. My first time hiring them I hired them a day early (from Canberra, pretty cheap getting them from here) so I could practise doing them on my car the night before with gloves on. Once you get the hang of it they are pretty intuitive.
 
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Swan Valkyrie

Early Days
Mar 1, 2021
28
16
8
It's nowhere near as bad as this! I was super scared on the bus in NZ, and I'm a nervous driver, but I find driving to Thredbo fine. On snowy days I can be nervous going to Perisher, but going to Thredbo it is less exposed so less windy even if it is snowing. Just take it slow, fit chains when directed, and don't ride your brakes down the hill :)

Thanks for this! So much easier driving to thredbo hmm. What is it like driving down the hill if its icy? Like dont most people ride breaks technically going down a hill? I guess just have in high gear and only go like 20km per hour? I really really dont like hills :(

What would you need to do if you have an auto? Just use the standard automatic gear system and just break... roll...... break... roll lol?
 

ski

Hard Yards
Jan 8, 2011
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- Would it be better to hire an Auto? if yes, do you need to use the gears option going down the hill if it’s icy?
If you hire an Auto - you should not need to use the gears option - as others have said the gradients are no where near as bad as the NZ ski fields
- I’m aware snow chains need to be carried but not normally required. I’m afraid that even after being shown by someone at servo I won’t be able to put them on properly. What is the risk ratio of needing chains to thredbo in late July?
There's always a chance there will be snow on the road - but if chains are required there are bays (sometimes there is even help in the bays) and then everyone drives REALLY slowly - so it's not scary for the first timer.
- Do you need chains to Jindy?
No
- Is it easier to stay in Jindy and catch a shuttle or is it super expensive?
super expensive!
- Im driving with 2 others but only I have the manual license, only other car is 2WD thats auto and would need chains... should we just take this or hire? Again worried if snowy conditions would need to slow down using gears right on icy hill? (We have never used gears on auto but ive seen its possible?)
It really is an easy drive from Jindy to Thredbo - If you don't want to end up doing all the driving then hire an auto!

- was hoping to stay somewhere in thredbo for ski in ski out and not have to worry about catching shuttle each day, but thats not deal breaker if shuttles were cheap
Threbo is lovely to stay in - if you can afford it - you'll love it!
- if we stay on mountain can we hire gear from there? Many sites say hire from jindy first

Yes - there are a couple of places to hire - but they are pricey - Jindy has more variety of hire places that are more reasonably priced - however if you are having issues with hire gear - you will have to drive back to Jindy to sort them out. Our family motto is: If you are staying on the hill - rent on the hill.
- is the hill extremely steep to thredbo? Is it like going from queenstown to remarkables/coronet steep? Or windy? (Scares me a little haha)
No - if you expecting the thrills of a NZ drive - you will be disappointed!
 

Interruptedbyfireworks

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Thanks for this! So much easier driving to thredbo hmm. What is it like driving down the hill if its icy? Like dont most people ride breaks technically going down a hill? I guess just have in high gear and only go like 20km per hour? I really really dont like hills :(

What would you need to do if you have an auto? Just use the standard automatic gear system and just break... roll...... break... roll lol?
Going down the hill if it is icy - make sure you start it at a slow speed, then maintain your speed using a combination of low gear (you'll hear the engine rev but that's ok) and just tapping the brakes occasionally. The key is to make sure you begin the downhill at a slow speed, as it's much easier to maintain using engine braking (i.e. low gear) that way.

You can do a similar thing in an auto though I've not done it as many times as I have in a manual (new car is an auto, my old AWD of 10 years was manual) - you shift it to drive mode and use the paddles. You can practise that on normal roads to get the hang of it.
 
Last edited:

dawooduck

relaxed and comfortable
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Oct 26, 2002
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Steep hills, winding road, ice, snow fallen trees, fallen rocks, horses, goats, combats, deer, kangaroos, emu, range rovers, snow ploughs, traffic, tail gaters, school mums, buses, late staff, lifties .....

It's incredibly dangerous out there so maybe your mum should drive
 
Last edited:

Swan Valkyrie

Early Days
Mar 1, 2021
28
16
8
- Would it be better to hire an Auto? if yes, do you need to use the gears option going down the hill if it’s icy?
If you hire an Auto - you should not need to use the gears option - as others have said the gradients are no where near as bad as the NZ ski fields
- I’m aware snow chains need to be carried but not normally required. I’m afraid that even after being shown by someone at servo I won’t be able to put them on properly. What is the risk ratio of needing chains to thredbo in late July?
There's always a chance there will be snow on the road - but if chains are required there are bays (sometimes there is even help in the bays) and then everyone drives REALLY slowly - so it's not scary for the first timer.
- Do you need chains to Jindy?
No
- Is it easier to stay in Jindy and catch a shuttle or is it super expensive?
super expensive!
- Im driving with 2 others but only I have the manual license, only other car is 2WD thats auto and would need chains... should we just take this or hire? Again worried if snowy conditions would need to slow down using gears right on icy hill? (We have never used gears on auto but ive seen its possible?)
It really is an easy drive from Jindy to Thredbo - If you don't want to end up doing all the driving then hire an auto!

- was hoping to stay somewhere in thredbo for ski in ski out and not have to worry about catching shuttle each day, but thats not deal breaker if shuttles were cheap
Threbo is lovely to stay in - if you can afford it - you'll love it!
- if we stay on mountain can we hire gear from there? Many sites say hire from jindy first

Yes - there are a couple of places to hire - but they are pricey - Jindy has more variety of hire places that are more reasonably priced - however if you are having issues with hire gear - you will have to drive back to Jindy to sort them out. Our family motto is: If you are staying on the hill - rent on the hill.
- is the hill extremely steep to thredbo? Is it like going from queenstown to remarkables/coronet steep? Or windy? (Scares me a little haha)
No - if you expecting the thrills of a NZ drive - you will be disappointed!

This is great! Thank you!!
Thanks also to everyone else and their replies. I feel much more at ease asking here compared to all the searching Id done on other people’s questions over the internet.. just didnt feel like I got a solid answer haha.

I guess i’ll see how I go and whether or not Ill get a hire car just to split up driving maybe.

Should I be getting the national park pass or just get it while im there. Its only for a week. If I get a hire car I can’t put the sticker on that car
 

Swan Valkyrie

Early Days
Mar 1, 2021
28
16
8
Going down the hill if it is icy - make sure you start it at a slow speed, then maintain your speed using a combination of low gear (you'll hear the engine rev but that's ok) and just tapping the brakes occasionally. The key is to make sure you begin the downhill at a slow speed, as it's much easier to maintain using engine breaking (i.e. low gear) that way.

You can do a similar thing in an auto though I've not done it as many times as I have in a manual (new car is an auto, my old AWD of 10 years was manual) - you shift it to drive mode and use the paddles. You can practise that on normal roads to get the hang of it.

Thanks this helps! :) so considering the drive is normally about 30min or so from Jindy, I cant imagine the hill to be a big/long one? Hopefully its over quickly.

im also a fan of leaving early but read that its better to wait for others to have gone first ad the road would be more clear from snow/ive? And salt being laid.
 
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Interruptedbyfireworks

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Thanks this helps! :) so considering the drive is normally about 30min or so from Jindy, I cant imagine the hill to be a big/long one? Hopefully its over quickly.

im also a fan of leaving early but read that its better to wait for others to have gone first ad the road would be more clear from snow/ive? And salt being laid.
Yeah it's not a long drive, and most of it is actually pretty flat and gentle, certainly no hairpin turns or anything like that.

Others will have more informed opinions on early vs late driving than me - I'm not a morning person and rarely get to Jindy before 8am lol

For the national parks pass you should be able to check the prices online, and see what is cheapest out of the annual pass or a daily pass for the week you are there. At $29 a day it might be cheaper for the annual pass, which you can buy online before you go
 
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Sage O

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This is great! Thank you!!
Thanks also to everyone else and their replies. I feel much more at ease asking here compared to all the searching Id done on other people’s questions over the internet.. just didnt feel like I got a solid answer haha.

I guess i’ll see how I go and whether or not Ill get a hire car just to split up driving maybe.

Should I be getting the national park pass or just get it while im there. Its only for a week. If I get a hire car I can’t put the sticker on that car

If you’re looking at getting a hire car, expressly state you plan to drive it to Thredbo to the hire company so you’re covered just in case you have an accident.
 

Swan Valkyrie

Early Days
Mar 1, 2021
28
16
8
Yeah it's not a long drive, and most of it is actually pretty flat and gentle, certainly no hairpin turns or anything like that.

Others will have more informed opinions on early vs late driving than me - I'm not a morning person and rarely get to Jindy before 8am lol

For the national parks pass you should be able to check the prices online, and see what is cheapest out of the annual pass or a daily pass for the week you are there. At $29 a day it might be cheaper for the annual pass, which you can buy online before you go

Yeah that’s what I was debating but again if I choose a different car i’ll be paying for the pass on my own car and wont apply to new one. Wasn’t sure if I could change stickers over just while im there?
 

Interruptedbyfireworks

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Yeah that’s what I was debating but again if I choose a different car i’ll be paying for the pass on my own car and wont apply to new one. Wasn’t sure if I could change stickers over just while im there?
I'm fairly certain you can't just change the annual pass sticker over to a new car like that. When I bought a new car and transferred the pass to the new car I had to show proof of sale of the old vehicle, proof of purchase of the new vehicle, and then they reissued it for the new registration number. So not really a temporary switch for a hire car situation unfortunately.
 

currawong

Old but not so Crusty
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A manual awd is the perfect car for the job, much better than most hire cars. Driving between jindy and thredbo should not be onerous. A manual gives you better control with engine braking and obviously the awd gives better grip.

With a hire car you may also have issues with carrying your gear. More likely to have to fit chains. Possible insurance issues too.
 
Last edited:

Swan Valkyrie

Early Days
Mar 1, 2021
28
16
8
A manual awd is the perfect car for the job, much better than most hire cars. Driving between jindy and thredbo should not be onerous. A manual gives you better control with engine breaking and obviously the awd gives better grip.

With a hire car you may also have issues with carrying your gear. More likely to have to fit chains. Possible insurance issues too.

ah good point thanks :) do I need to do anything different in the car? Turn on a traction control button or something?
 

Swan Valkyrie

Early Days
Mar 1, 2021
28
16
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This.
The only thing i'd offer to the OP is check out the tyres on your car.
You want a decent tyre (rather than a High performance low side wall tyre)

im not sure which tyres I have tbh. Will check it out. How will I know if they would be suitable or not? I got brand new ones at end of 2019, but only driven like 3000km since then. Should have enough tread. I know when I bought them i opted for a bit higher than stock standard but theyre not full on performance
 
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Donza

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im not sure which tyres I have tbh. Will check it out. How will I know if they would be suitable or not? I got brand new ones at end of 2019, but only driven like 3000km since then. Should have enough tread. I know when I bought them i opted for a bit higher than stock standard but theyre not full on performance
They'd be fine.
3000km is 7% wear ('ve found)... ie very little.
 

Swan Valkyrie

Early Days
Mar 1, 2021
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No.
Subaru traction control is on by default.
i think it looks like this? But its a toggle under the steering wheel. Pretty sure it doesnt have off on there. Its either toggle up or down. Anyway if its on its good for icy roads? Just stops tyres spinning?
 

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Donza

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i think it looks like this? But its a toggle under the steering wheel. Pretty sure it doesnt have off on there. Its either toggle up or down. Anyway if its on its good for icy roads? Just stops tyres spinning?
No need to touch it.
Traction control is great for those sort of roads.
 
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Aractus

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Thredbo village is below the snow line, you're unlikely to be driving on snow except Friday Dr. and the carpark. Note though that in the mornings there can be icy stretches about just from frost or rain overnight on any of the roads, including Kosciuszko Rd on the way in to Jindy.

Are all your friends/family on their P's? A full licence from Automatic P's is automatically converted to a full unrestricted driver licence, and I believe NSW Green provisional licence is also provisioned to manual no matter how you obtained it.
 

Swan Valkyrie

Early Days
Mar 1, 2021
28
16
8
Thredbo village is below the snow line, you're unlikely to be driving on snow except Friday Dr. and the carpark. Note though that in the mornings there can be icy stretches about just from frost or rain overnight on any of the roads, including Kosciuszko Rd on the way in to Jindy.

Are all your friends/family on their P's? A full licence from Automatic P's is automatically converted to a full unrestricted driver licence, and I believe NSW Green provisional licence is also provisioned to manual no matter how you obtained it.
They’re on their opens, originally from QLD. Ive got my NSW license (manual) another has NSW license (auto) and QLD has manual
 

Aractus

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They’re on their opens, originally from QLD. Ive got my NSW license (manual) another has NSW license (auto) and QLD has manual

The NSW/auto licence driver should be able to go to the gov't shopfront and swap their licence immediately for unrestricted. It's meant to be automatically changed over, but sometimes there are mistakes. No full drivers licence is supposed to be restricted to Auto (except perhaps for specific unusual circumstances). You can then swap cars for a week or something and they'll have experience with your car in case you want/need to share driving.
 

Jasper Schwarz

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@Swan Valkyrie
Just to confirm waht everyone else has said here, and also a quick question
Are you a p-plater/new on the road?
Im a green p plater now and last year was the first time that I ever drove to the snow by myself. Some words of advice from my perspective

As said many times, a subaru impreza is the best car to take period. there is really no discussion here. I was in an outback last year (but unfortunately has since left this earth), but now own exactly the same car as you, and did many trips up and down the road this summer. handled like a piece of cake. use your gears and you will 100% be ok.

The road is not very windy at all, I think the sharpest bend for memory is 55km/h (and there is only one of them)
As for snow, you would need to be unlucky (or very lucky, depending on point of view) for it to snow to thredbo and the subbie not be able to handle it. Again, use your gears and not your breaks and just take your time. There will be plenty of people trying to go faster thabn you in 4WD's (snow or not) and just let them do their own thing.
I would no recommend doing it in the dark, at least for your first time. I did, and it was not pleasant. Very very different experince, and something I wont be doing again if I can help it.

If you are driving to Thredbo everyday, (im not sure how many days you are going for) get a national parks sticker. If you decide to fork out for on the snow accomodation (and trust me, I think its worth it. Its exxy, but value for money is there), get a day ticket.
The shuttle to Perisher is $120 for the whole family (minus me). My parents really worry about there car and my dad hates hastle so he just pays it and leaves the car in Jindy. He swears by it.

As others have said, youll be absolutely fine and will have a ball. Its an experience, thats for sure!!
 

skichic

Part of the Furniture
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@Swan Valkyrie
Just to confirm waht everyone else has said here, and also a quick question
Are you a p-plater/new on the road?
Im a green p plater now and last year was the first time that I ever drove to the snow by myself. Some words of advice from my perspective

As said many times, a subaru impreza is the best car to take period. there is really no discussion here. I was in an outback last year (but unfortunately has since left this earth), but now own exactly the same car as you, and did many trips up and down the road this summer. handled like a piece of cake. use your gears and you will 100% be ok.

The road is not very windy at all, I think the sharpest bend for memory is 55km/h (and there is only one of them)
As for snow, you would need to be unlucky (or very lucky, depending on point of view) for it to snow to thredbo and the subbie not be able to handle it. Again, use your gears and not your breaks and just take your time. There will be plenty of people trying to go faster thabn you in 4WD's (snow or not) and just let them do their own thing.
I would no recommend doing it in the dark, at least for your first time. I did, and it was not pleasant. Very very different experince, and something I wont be doing again if I can help it.

If you are driving to Thredbo everyday, (im not sure how many days you are going for) get a national parks sticker. If you decide to fork out for on the snow accomodation (and trust me, I think its worth it. Its exxy, but value for money is there), get a day ticket.
The shuttle to Perisher is $120 for the whole family (minus me). My parents really worry about there car and my dad hates hastle so he just pays it and leaves the car in Jindy. He swears by it.

As others have said, youll be absolutely fine and will have a ball. Its an experience, thats for sure!!
Correction to your assumption that the parks pass is on entry day only. You will need a pass for every day your car is the the park. Get a season pass.
 
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Jasper Schwarz

Young but not afraid
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Correction to your assumption that the parks pass is on entry day only. You will need a pass for every day your car is the the park. Get a season pass.
Sorry my bad. Was making the assumption you would take the car back out of the national park, but this doesnt make much sense anyway cause how are you getting back.

100% get a pass
 

Swan Valkyrie

Early Days
Mar 1, 2021
28
16
8
The NSW/auto licence driver should be able to go to the gov't shopfront and swap their licence immediately for unrestricted. It's meant to be automatically changed over, but sometimes there are mistakes. No full drivers licence is supposed to be restricted to Auto (except perhaps for specific unusual circumstances). You can then swap cars for a week or something and they'll have experience with your car in case you want/need to share driving.
Wow I did not know this, thank you.
 

Swan Valkyrie

Early Days
Mar 1, 2021
28
16
8
@Swan Valkyrie
Just to confirm waht everyone else has said here, and also a quick question
Are you a p-plater/new on the road?
Im a green p plater now and last year was the first time that I ever drove to the snow by myself. Some words of advice from my perspective

As said many times, a subaru impreza is the best car to take period. there is really no discussion here. I was in an outback last year (but unfortunately has since left this earth), but now own exactly the same car as you, and did many trips up and down the road this summer. handled like a piece of cake. use your gears and you will 100% be ok.

The road is not very windy at all, I think the sharpest bend for memory is 55km/h (and there is only one of them)
As for snow, you would need to be unlucky (or very lucky, depending on point of view) for it to snow to thredbo and the subbie not be able to handle it. Again, use your gears and not your breaks and just take your time. There will be plenty of people trying to go faster thabn you in 4WD's (snow or not) and just let them do their own thing.
I would no recommend doing it in the dark, at least for your first time. I did, and it was not pleasant. Very very different experince, and something I wont be doing again if I can help it.

If you are driving to Thredbo everyday, (im not sure how many days you are going for) get a national parks sticker. If you decide to fork out for on the snow accomodation (and trust me, I think its worth it. Its exxy, but value for money is there), get a day ticket.
The shuttle to Perisher is $120 for the whole family (minus me). My parents really worry about there car and my dad hates hastle so he just pays it and leaves the car in Jindy. He swears by it.

As others have said, youll be absolutely fine and will have a ball. Its an experience, thats for sure!!
This is awesome - thanks!!!
Im on my opens no issues there :)

And good to know the only bend is like 55km p/hour. Im hoping to not go at night so should be ok.

If im staying at the mountain for 7 days, wouldnt I need to pay a daily rate for 7 days? We would just be leaving car in car park and stay on mountain the whole time.
 
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