USA 2018 - 2019 Trip Plans / Thoughts / Reviews

absentskier

Smug bozo
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Jun 10, 2010
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Melbourne
So who's going where this coming northern winter?

Looks like we'll be back at Steamboat from around XMas to late January. Not sure how much longer we'll be able to keep going for various reasons so hopefully this is a ripper season.

If the finances allow, might even pop down to Aspen for a couple of days given we have IKON passes.
 

oldgeezer

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Aug 18, 2016
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Grandpa oh and computer programmer too.
At this stage we are entertaining the idea of visiting a friend in Chicago but also getting OG1 into a ski camp for low level ladies in Welch Village MN of all places (early Feb) and seeing the experimental aircraft museum in Oshkosh while in the Midwest. Then back to Summit County using our Epic Passes after which a road trip through SW Colorado (hoping to have a day or two at Purgatory) and into Nth Arizona and Utah for a bit of hiking etc and then home.

Being retired myself on a limited budget and OG1 joining me in that state in November after that we shall have to watch out pennies. So it will be our swansong I am sure with other trips being tourist stuff we put off till we were over the hill.
 
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absentskier

Smug bozo
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We are heading to Whitefish for two weeks in Jan 2019. Decided to avoid the entire IKON / EPIC pass environment and this is one of the best skiing options sitting outside this duopoly. We are looking for low-crowds and a real ski town
Good choice.
 

oldgeezer

One of Us
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I like the old fart ski free idea. We bought Epic passes for here this winter (fingers crossed) so if we actually go then it makes sense to utilise them, and OG1 likes flat Breck as do I, altho not the weekend crowds (but will only have one of them). Won't get one for 2019 as we shall be touristing in Europe in August. Not sure about after that until we qualify for the Really Old price (if we are still doing skiing). Whichever it won't be for abroad, next Feb being our last, just local.

In the meantime I am working on losing weight and being a bit fitter than Feb last year.
 

skichic

Old n' Crusty
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May 26, 2003
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Landing in SFO Feb 21 and departing March 20. Got Epic pass. Probably heading to Colorado but that’s as far as the planning has got. Solo, first ever pointy end flights :woohoo:
 
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MarzNC

One of Us
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Jun 8, 2017
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Raleigh, NC, USA
over50skifitness.blogspot.com
We are heading to Whitefish for two weeks in Jan 2019. Decided to avoid the entire IKON / EPIC pass environment and this is one of the best skiing options sitting outside this duopoly. We are looking for low-crowds and a real ski town
Might not be quite as empty as a few years ago. According to a May press release, Whitefish set a new record for skier visits in 2017-18. Of course, low snow in Utah/Colorado/Tahoe and plenty of snow in Montana helped. Big Sky had a good season too.

Have you ever come across this guide to Whitefish? The creator retired to Whitefish years ago after having skied all over the world.
http://www.wmr-guide.com

* * *
Whitefish Mountain Resort sets new record for total skier visits
Season pass holders and 410 inches of snowfall help resort record its best season yet

WHITEFISH, MT – April 11, 2018– Whitefish Mountain Resort announced that it has set a new record with more than 382,000 total skier visits. The northwest Montana resort beat its previous record set in 2016/17 by more than 35,500 total skier visits. This year also marked a record for preseason winter season pass sales—up four percent over the previous season’s record year.

While the additional season pass holders helped top the skier visits records, Mother Nature also played a role bringing storm after storm giving the resort 410 inches of snowfall, its second best snowfall in 21 years behind 2007/08 when it recorded 426 inches. The settled base depth on April 8 (Closing Day) was at 164 inches—the most on record in the last 21 years. During the 123 days of Whitefish Mountain Resort’s season it snowed 80 days.

“We are extremely grateful to have such a dedicated community of season passholders and loyal returning out-of-town guests. Additionally we continue to welcome a steady stream of first-time guests,” Whitefish Mountain Resort CEO Dan Graves said, “With the continued growth in skier visits, we will continue with our commitment to improving the guest experience while maintaining affordability as well as our exceptional, easy-going hospitality that encourages our guests to keep coming back.”

Even with skier visits up this season, Whitefish Mountain Resort management was pleased how the addition of East Rim/Chair 5 has helped to disperse guests in such a way to maintain the experience of uncrowded slopes. Additionally Phase 1 of the Ed & Mully’s remodel played a role in the restaurant and bar having one of its best seasons yet. Phase 2 of the remodel will happen this summer and will give the interior a fresh new look including new finishes, lighting, fireplace, carpet and restroom upgrades. The kitchen will receive a new design and equipment.
. . .

* * *
 

absentskier

Smug bozo
Ski Pass
Jun 10, 2010
29,892
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Melbourne
Might not be quite as empty as a few years ago. According to a May press release, Whitefish set a new record for skier visits in 2017-18. Of course, low snow in Utah/Colorado/Tahoe and plenty of snow in Montana helped. Big Sky had a good season too.

Have you ever come across this guide to Whitefish? The creator retired to Whitefish years ago after having skied all over the world.
http://www.wmr-guide.com

* * *
Whitefish Mountain Resort sets new record for total skier visits
Season pass holders and 410 inches of snowfall help resort record its best season yet


WHITEFISH, MT – April 11, 2018– Whitefish Mountain Resort announced that it has set a new record with more than 382,000 total skier visits. The northwest Montana resort beat its previous record set in 2016/17 by more than 35,500 total skier visits. This year also marked a record for preseason winter season pass sales—up four percent over the previous season’s record year.

While the additional season pass holders helped top the skier visits records, Mother Nature also played a role bringing storm after storm giving the resort 410 inches of snowfall, its second best snowfall in 21 years behind 2007/08 when it recorded 426 inches. The settled base depth on April 8 (Closing Day) was at 164 inches—the most on record in the last 21 years. During the 123 days of Whitefish Mountain Resort’s season it snowed 80 days.

“We are extremely grateful to have such a dedicated community of season passholders and loyal returning out-of-town guests. Additionally we continue to welcome a steady stream of first-time guests,” Whitefish Mountain Resort CEO Dan Graves said, “With the continued growth in skier visits, we will continue with our commitment to improving the guest experience while maintaining affordability as well as our exceptional, easy-going hospitality that encourages our guests to keep coming back.”

Even with skier visits up this season, Whitefish Mountain Resort management was pleased how the addition of East Rim/Chair 5 has helped to disperse guests in such a way to maintain the experience of uncrowded slopes. Additionally Phase 1 of the Ed & Mully’s remodel played a role in the restaurant and bar having one of its best seasons yet. Phase 2 of the remodel will happen this summer and will give the interior a fresh new look including new finishes, lighting, fireplace, carpet and restroom upgrades. The kitchen will receive a new design and equipment.
. . .

* * *
382k skier visits is still a very small number. Will be interesting to see whether they can maintain it.
 
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chunky

Pool Room
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No I have had a couple of kid free Japan trips when they were younger. I’ll be an empty nester mid Feb 2019.
Still many moons before I have to deal with that. I believe whenever our next ski trip eventuates one of my daughters is trying to convince me that she can bring a friend then I bumped into the parents of said friend at the shops and it has already made it to their ears as well.
 

skichic

Old n' Crusty
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May 26, 2003
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Still many moons before I have to deal with that. I believe whenever our next ski trip eventuates one of my daughters is trying to convince me that she can bring a friend then I bumped into the parents of said friend at the shops and it has already made it to their ears as well.
Because you don’t have enough kids to wrangle already?
 

jakes47

Hard Yards
May 21, 2009
122
11
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66
Western Australia
Still many moons before I have to deal with that. I believe whenever our next ski trip eventuates one of my daughters is trying to convince me that she can bring a friend then I bumped into the parents of said friend at the shops and it has already made it to their ears as well.
Don't go there!!! I could not take on that responsibility. I was always confident in knowing my kids ability but would never be sure of another's. When our kids (4) were young we traveled with other families with kids the same age. As teens they generally stayed home with Grandma and we would take one away with us the year they turned 14. They are all adults now and we have been enjoying some fun ski trips together.
 

jakes47

Hard Yards
May 21, 2009
122
11
88
66
Western Australia
We are off to Breckenridge late Feb for 10 Days. At first I thought 10 days was not long enough but I had a bad fall in Whistler in Jan and life has not been the same since due to undiagnosed shoulder and neck damage (found last week). Needless to say I am very nervous - but I am determined to get back on the horse. Breck seems to have many easy runs so I am hoping to get my confidence back.
Even though we only have 10 days we have decided to make a 3 week holiday of it with stops in SF, Den and and HK on the way there.
Any advice/tips on Denver? We have 2 full days to fill at a leisurely pace.
 

skichic

Old n' Crusty
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May 26, 2003
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We are off to Breckenridge late Feb for 10 Days. At first I thought 10 days was not long enough but I had a bad fall in Whistler in Jan and life has not been the same since due to undiagnosed shoulder and neck damage (found last week). Needless to say I am very nervous - but I am determined to get back on the horse. Breck seems to have many easy runs so I am hoping to get my confidence back.
Even though we only have 10 days we have decided to make a 3 week holiday of it with stops in SF, Den and and HK on the way there.
Any advice/tips on Denver? We have 2 full days to fill at a leisurely pace.
Go to the hockey.
 
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oldgeezer

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Good idea 're Breckenridge. In Denver the natural history museum is very good ranking alongside the museum in Victoria BC for me anyway I.e. local exhibits rather than exotic collections. A full day there easy. If interested in things to do with flight there is an air and space museum that is good for a few hours. It cashes in on CO being where the air force academy is. On that thought as a change from the I70 parking lot consider allowing a day to get to Breckenridge the long way round via Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak then on through Woodland Park on Hwy 67. Very scenic with a bit of south west feel to it. The switch back descent down Hoosier Pass into Breckenridge is a tad like the Crown Range descent near Queenstown but a bit wider.
 
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kiwi skier

First Runs
Apr 3, 2018
9
5
3
I'll be hitting up the US rockies for a bit over a month from christmas to the end of Jan. Probably going to buy an Ikon pass and hop around Steamboat/Aspen then Snowbird, heading up to Jackson Hole and Big sky and finishing back in Aspen for the X games.

Where are you all thinking of spending Xmas/new years? Tossing up between forking out the money to go to vegas or to stay at the snow.
 

Legs Akimbo

Grumblebum
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Mar 3, 1999
72,360
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Coastal suburban boonies.
I'll be hitting up the US rockies for a bit over a month from christmas to the end of Jan. Probably going to buy an Ikon pass and hop around Steamboat/Aspen then Snowbird, heading up to Jackson Hole and Big sky and finishing back in Aspen for the X games.

Where are you all thinking of spending Xmas/new years? Tossing up between forking out the money to go to vegas or to stay at the snow.
Vegas is a shithole. If that's your thing, go the rat.
 
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Sbooker

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I'll be hitting up the US rockies for a bit over a month from christmas to the end of Jan. Probably going to buy an Ikon pass and hop around Steamboat/Aspen then Snowbird, heading up to Jackson Hole and Big sky and finishing back in Aspen for the X games.

Where are you all thinking of spending Xmas/new years? Tossing up between forking out the money to go to vegas or to stay at the snow.

We've had New Year in Aspen and Jackson Hole. I've spent time in Vegas but not at new year.
I would never give up time in a genuine town in the mountains to go to Vegas. And it will be a bit 'out of the way' for you too.
If you're staying in Aspen town itself (not Snowmass) you'll have a ball at New Year.
 

Slalom

Part of the Furniture
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Jun 17, 2013
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Melbourne
I haven't locked it in yet but maybe 1 or 2 nights max only to see some shows. Thinking of detouring into Death Valley for the one full day we are planning to be there. Never done Dante's View so hoping to do that.
Road can get flooded through Death Valley so check forecasts. Worth the trip though.
 
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try hard

Addicted
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Feb 4, 2001
926
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Sydney,Australia
We are heading to Whitefish for two weeks in Jan 2019. Decided to avoid the entire IKON / EPIC pass environment and this is one of the best skiing options sitting outside this duopoly. We are looking for low-crowds and a real ski town
We love Whitefish and are heading back for our 3rd visit Jan/Feb.
 

Nick.

Hard Yards
Jun 19, 2018
38
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58
Hey guys,

Im doing a solo epic pass trip next year for about 4/5 weeks and I would consider my level to be advanced/expert.

1 week in hakuba staying at a friends place
2 weeks in summit staying at a friends place

I have then planned to spend then next 10/12 days driving a camper from Denver to LAX where I fly back to Sydney.
This road trip will be predominately skiing based, locations depending on snow (Park city, Tahoe, Telluride, Crested Butte).

However I would like to do some sightseeing along that general route. Things like Moab, Yosemite, Redwoods etc

Could anyone suggest any other areas that would be worth checking out or quick hikes etc. Pretty limited due to it being winter and time schedule but I would like to make the most of my trip.

This will be my first trip to the states however I do have significant experience driving in the snow in Japan and Canada, so I'm not really worried about putting in long hours overnight.

Im still at uni so im on a pretty tight budget which is why ive staying with friends as much as possible.

Im 24 so my age is affecting any rental car options.

Ive found a decent camper thats $59 a night +250 one way + 200 insurance. For any similar size rentals its almost double the price just due to the age.

Any advice regards to campers/rental cars or just the general trip would be appreciated.
 

Sbooker

One of Us
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Sep 28, 2015
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Hey guys,

Im doing a solo epic pass trip next year for about 4/5 weeks and I would consider my level to be advanced/expert.

1 week in hakuba staying at a friends place
2 weeks in summit staying at a friends place

I have then planned to spend then next 10/12 days driving a camper from Denver to LAX where I fly back to Sydney.
This road trip will be predominately skiing based, locations depending on snow (Park city, Tahoe, Telluride, Crested Butte).

However I would like to do some sightseeing along that general route. Things like Moab, Yosemite, Redwoods etc

Could anyone suggest any other areas that would be worth checking out or quick hikes etc. Pretty limited due to it being winter and time schedule but I would like to make the most of my trip.

This will be my first trip to the states however I do have significant experience driving in the snow in Japan and Canada, so I'm not really worried about putting in long hours overnight.

Im still at uni so im on a pretty tight budget which is why ive staying with friends as much as possible.

Im 24 so my age is affecting any rental car options.

Ive found a decent camper thats $59 a night +250 one way + 200 insurance. For any similar size rentals its almost double the price just due to the age.

Any advice regards to campers/rental cars or just the general trip would be appreciated.

To drive from Summit County to Salt Lake City you have to go right past Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. These are an absolute must do even if it is for a day - just to check that landscape out in person. It's pretty spectacular that's for sure. If you're heading from Park City to Tahoe it would be the long way around to stop in Vegas and drive up through Death Valley and the 395 but it would be worth it to check out the unique Death Valley landscape.
Sounds like an awesome trip.
If possible I would suggest timing the start of the trip in mid January so you are skiing in Colorado while the steep terrain is filled in nicely.
Very jealous. I wish I had that kind of time to holiday.
 
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Nick.

Hard Yards
Jun 19, 2018
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To drive from Summit County to Salt Lake City you have to go right past Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. These are an absolute must do even if it is for a day - just to check that landscape out in person. It's pretty spectacular that's for sure. If you're heading from Park City to Tahoe it would be the long way around to stop in Vegas and drive up through Death Valley and the 395 but it would be worth it to check out the unique Death Valley landscape.
Sounds like an awesome trip.
If possible I would suggest timing the start of the trip in mid January so you are skiing in Colorado while the steep terrain is filled in nicely.
Very jealous. I wish I had that kind of time to holiday.


Thanks! ill look into those national parks. just put all that into google maps, and yes definitely the long way, I don't think I will have the time to go via Vegas up to Tahoe and then have to come back down to LA (I also really have zero interest going to Vegas by myself haha)

Yep im starting on the 22nd Jan and will be in Colorado around the 1st of feb, flying out of LAX on the 25th feb
 

oldgeezer

One of Us
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Aug 18, 2016
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Why? Annoyed I don't spend more time in this park. It is sensational. Winter can be tricky on the trails tho.
We have had to trim our plans to be away because come Australia Day, the day we had envisaged leaving, we will have additional grand parental duties. If all goes well and we can be spared come March then we might be able to have just two weeks away, if a special on flights comes up e.g $1250 or less. Certainly not enough time to add on a south-West road trip.
 

oldgeezer

One of Us
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Grandpa oh and computer programmer too.
Just to clarify a bit @chunky we were looking forward to the Natl parks road trip but just a week ago we learned our daughter (mother of our two grandsons) is expecting, again, and on Jan 26th when we had in mind to be when we would leave.

So that's put paid to the vacation and I doubt we'd be able to get away even in March really as we do a lot to help her with the boys and that will only increase over that period. OG1 reckons it will be a girl so shall be keen to be around to enjoy the time too while I do the boys.

Besides with a big (and exe) vacation to Europe planned for most of August and near all September the travel funds need be allocated to that.

Alas probably no more ski vacations abroad for us to the US or Sun Peaks.
 

chunky

Pool Room
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Just to clarify a bit @chunky we were looking forward to the Natl parks road trip but just a week ago we learned our daughter (mother of our two grandsons) is expecting, again, and on Jan 26th when we had in mind to be when we would leave.

So that's put paid to the vacation and I doubt we'd be able to get away even in March really as we do a lot to help her with the boys and that will only increase over that period. OG1 reckons it will be a girl so shall be keen to be around to enjoy the time too while I do the boys.

Besides with a big (and exe) vacation to Europe planned for most of August and near all September the travel funds need be allocated to that.

Alas probably no more ski vacations abroad for us to the US or Sun Peaks.
:(
 
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chunky

Pool Room
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Jul 24, 1998
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For a summer point of view I notice a lot of safety information about lightning in the parks. It looks like it can get nasty very quickly.
 

oldgeezer

One of Us
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Aug 18, 2016
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Grandpa oh and computer programmer too.
Seems OG1 is still keen to get her money's worth out of her Epic Pass and will drag me away from helping out with the grandkids after President's Week.

It will be a last minute decision, if the snow is good and we can find deals on fares in PE or even United's Economy Plus.
 

MarzNC

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Raleigh, NC, USA
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I haven't locked it in yet but maybe 1 or 2 nights max only to see some shows. Thinking of detouring into Death Valley for the one full day we are planning to be there. Never done Dante's View so hoping to do that.
Dante's View is certainly worth the drive. My ski buddy and I did some sightseeing in Death Valley in May after a few days at Mammoth. I flew out of Las Vegas because it was not only on his way home, it was an inexpensive non-stop flight on Southwest to my home airport in the southeast.

We got lucky. When we stopped by the Visitor Center, we learned that Dante's View was closed but might open the next day. Only way to find out was to call or stop by the Visitor Center the next morning. They don't update the website for info like that. We went north the first afternoon, stayed in a motel outside the park about 45 min away, then did the sights south of the Visitor center the next day.

The one-way Artist's Drive was worth the time even though we didn't have time to walk around
Death Valley May2018 - 5.jpg
 
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MarzNC

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Any advice/tips on Denver? We have 2 full days to fill at a leisurely pace.
On a clear day, can get a great view of the Front Range from the top of the state capitol. The tour is free. Good introduction to the history of Colorado.

The Money Museum downtown is free and doesn't take long. No more than an hour even if you read everything and watch all the videos. I went without children and enjoyed the visit. Some exhibits are geared to kids. A major renovation started in 2017. Should be open by this winter. May need to bring passports as ID. Americans use their Driver's Licenses as a government ID.

https://www.kansascityfed.org/moneymuseum?location=1
 

Sbooker

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I can second that a drive through Death Valley is great. We were at a lookout on the western side somewhere and two air force jets buzzed us just overhead. There's an air force base close by I believe. Great scenery throughout the park.
 

Mick_Molloy_Au

Early Days
Feb 10, 2018
26
20
8
Toying with the idea of a week at Heavenly and a week in Vegas in Feb/March. The death valley drive (have done it once) is a must. Probably drive north from LA into Tahoe. Who knows if I'll fly home out of Vegas or LA yet.
 
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