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I took my first ski lessons in Moleson, Switzerland at age 8, while living in Lahr, Germany. Returning to Ottawa in 1987, I continued learning with my dad at Vorlage, and through school at Edelweiss until I was 16. After that, I moved to Winnipeg (where it's very flat), and then pursued my academic studies after returning to Ottawa, where I...
I took my first ski lessons in Moleson, Switzerland at age 8, while living in Lahr, Germany. Returning to Ottawa in 1987, I continued learning with my dad at Vorlage, and through school at Edelweiss until I was 16. After that, I moved to Winnipeg (where it's very flat), and then pursued my academic studies after returning to Ottawa, where I also became a fusion bellydance instructor. As a result, I skied only twice between 1994-2010, the second instance of this being to teach Danny Fresh of Bad Company (BC Recordings, UK) to ski during a 2001 Ottawa tour date! Once I'd completed most of my MA, I picked up right where I'd left off (with my Munari rear-entry boots and 1993 K2s!) at Camp Fortune, which became my beloved home mountain for many years. I skied nearly every day after work, and started travelling to other mountains. In 2012 I learned about Whistler's gaper weekend and my love of skiing and costuming came together (thanks for that, bad santa joe!)! I combined my love of skiing and bellydance and skied with Isis wings. In 2013 I switched to Kastle James XX90 twin tips and have never turned back. These days I'm recognizable by my signature orange hair and fluoro pink/orange collection of ski costuming (hey, not everyone can ski for sport!). I spend a lot of time skiing at Les Sommets family of mountains, in addition to Killington, Tremblant, Squaw Valley and Whistler, and have recently picked up snowboarding. As a ski fashionista and a raver who grew up in the 90s, my favourite influences are the heyday of fluro ski gear in the late 80s and early 90s and my favourite time of year to ski is in the spring!​
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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - January 1, 2021


Finally, 2021 has arrived! After having spent NYE enjoying a three-course fondue and celebratory drinks, I spent most of the day relaxing at home with plans to catch the last few runs of the day. We enjoyed a late afternoon brunch (or perhaps it was more of a "linner") of mimosas, eggs benedict, bacon, fresh fruit and yogurt to get the evening started out right, and then I got ready to head to the mountain. I knew I'd only have time for a few short runs, which was fine by me after having spent December intentionally staying home as much as possible. I planned to ease gently into the new year, and drove in through Piedmont, passing by all the lifts from Avila to the Sommet Express to scope out the crowds. The lines seemed steady, but not at all busy. The Sommet Express had the longest line of all, and there were only about ten chairs worth of people leading up to the gate if that. After getting ready in the car, I arrived in the practically empty lift line, to be greeted by the SQ! It s...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - October 31, 2020 Opening!


Skison 2020 got its official start on Friday, October 30, 2020 with Sommet Saint-Sauveur's soft launch opening, and while I was not quick enough on the draw to participate, I was all set for Day 2 which delightfully fell on Hallowe'en! As always, Sommet Saint-Sauveur is the first to open in the East, even beating out "longest season in the East" rival Killington this year. As it happens, the state of Vermont has delayed releasing its ski resort opening guidance as covid-19 cases in Vermont have recently seen an uptick, and Killington has tentatively scheduled November 19 for opening. My day started with a hearty brunch from our neighborhood spot Fabergé which gave me lots of time to get ready while waiting for our brunch delivery. I packed up the car with my two sets of Kastle James XX90s, intending to ski on the pair with the best tune and drop the other off at the shop for some fresh wax. I have followed along with interest as other regions announced their operations guidance for mou...

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Bromont - January 18, 2020


This Saturday was the fourth in the series of eight Nuit Blanches at Bromont, where you can ski from 8AM til 2AM. We were also graced with a forecast for a reasonable storm that would bring 15 to 20 cm to the townships. The storm was to begin at 5pm, leaving plenty of time during the day to relax and prepare for some serious night skiing in prime conditions. I didn't rush and planned to go after 9pm, giving the snow some time to accumulate on the granular and icy base (which was still recovering from last week's ice storm). After spending the afternoon lounging around the house and getting a few neglected chores completed, I got ready to go and packed myself a Creemore and deli sandwich snack since there are very few snacking options in Bromont after 2AM and I have reached my quota for tolerance of Tim Horton's already this season. I headed out about 9:30, and snow had already accumulated on the car so I took some time to clear off the snow and remaining ice from the previous storm bef...

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Val Saint-Côme - January 12, 2020


I had thought that Friday evening would be my last decent ski session for some time - I headed to Saint-Sauveur to catch the last few hours of the day after work. It was delightfully slick, soft with a thin layer of chill on top like the frosting on a cake, and oh, so fast. Not to mention it was full moon Friday! As viewed from halfway up the Sommet Express below: The wet storm forecast for the weekend began on my ride home, making it a slow drive through thick fog and mist as I got back into the city. Feeling dejected about the weather, I slid into a great parking spot across the street from our building and flipped up the windshield wipers so the impending freezing rain wouldn't glue them to the windshield. Almost everything was closed on Saturday, and although Saint-Sauveur did open in the morning, they closed earlier than anticipated, as the rain had started during the day. What a let down from a storm event that was originally forecasting a ton of snow! On the upside, we were host...

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Bromont - December 2, 2019


Today was my friend's birthday, and what better way to celebrate than riding down the mountain! Bromont opened the Versant du Village on Saturday, and I was excited to try some new terrain after having spent the previous 15 sessions at Saint-Sauveur. As I was having a long day at the office, I didn't arrive until quite late, with everyone else arriving about a half hour before me. I arrived about 8:30pm and headed to the office to activate my Option nord-est pass which is the Bromont add-on to the Sommet Saint-Sauveur Passe Parfait. Each year, the system of delivering these passes seems to generate some confusion and I was initially told I needed to recuperate my pass at Saint-Sauveur, before they figured out I had my Saint-Sauveur pass and was there to activate my Bromont pass (Bromont also offers a reciprocal deal where you pay $70 for an option to ski Saint-Sauveur). Once I had my pass sorted out, I got ready and headed to the lift. The temperature was a bit more moderate than at Sa...

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Sommet Saint Sauveur - November 9, 2019


Skison 2019, day 2! After our late night at Brasserie Harricana, we got a late start to the day, made some breakfast sandwiches (thanks mom for the homemade bread!), and took our time heading up to the mountain, running some errands along the way. We got there around 6, I picked up the skis and board I'd dropped at the atelier mise au point the previous day, and dropped off my older James XX90s for Ptex and a tune. The first stop was the T-Bar for a motivational warm boozy drink. Apparently, Friday night at the T-Bar had been quite busy but Saturday was calm and it was easy to get a seat at the bar. Scott sipped on Griffintown all evening and I started my warmup with an Irish coffee. I headed over to the lift and was hoping that with the fresh wax and sharpen the conditions would be a little more forgiving since most of the coverage is from snowmaking. Although technically Nordique is not open yet (there is still a rope dropped at the top of the run), the park features had been set up ...

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Sommet Saint Sauveur - November 8, 2019: Day 1


The long awaited day has finally arrived, exactly five months to the day that we rode L'Etoile for the last runs of the season. Saint-Sauveur had been teasing an opening for days now, and with Killington's Rime and Reason already in full force as of last Sunday, it was a pretty safe bet that Friday would be the day: TGIF, amirite? The opening was announced for 2PM, however work was a bit too busy for me to get to the mountain until late afternoon. I was finally able to load up the car with my two sets of Kastle James XX90s and my Ride Crush board around 5pm, run a few quick errands and then hit the (very slow) road to get to Saint-Sauveur, arriving around 7pm. Every year at the end of the season I find a home for my GoPasse where I'll be sure to remember it at the start of the next season, so I can reload it online instead of having to go get a new one at customer service. Every year I somehow fail to recall where I stashed it. All of my other passes were in my ski wallet, but not the ...

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Versant Avila - AKAMP Day 2 - June 29, 2019


After a late-night Friday, we took it easy Saturday morning and I didn't get to the Nikita Girls Who Ride jam, which was from 1-5pm, a shift from last year's evening session, one that offered perfect daytime conditions. We got to Saint-Sauveur around 3:30, just in time for the deluge of rain falling from the sky. Due to the severity of the weather, they stopped the lift for a brief time until the risk of lightning and wind had passed. We hung out in the car during the rain and got ready to ride! After checking in, I headed to the lift, people were trickling back in after the rain, and soon every chair on the lift was filled with a steady stream of skiers and riders. People would cluster at the top and drop into the park, with the first feature being a large tube to ride over, followed by a pipe. Then, the main section of the park had twelve or more features with several possible lines. I skied through a number of runs and then paused for a quick break, right next to the skate ramp; whi...

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Versant Avila - AKAMP Day 1 - June 28, 2019


It barely feels like a month has passed since Sommet Saint-Sauveur's skison ended....because really it's only been 21 days! And yet the AKAMP hype is real! AKAMP, now in its 12th year, is a mirage of a snow park in the heat of the summer. This year for the first time, the snow park is located next to the Babalou chairlift on Mont Avila right in front of the main lodge. The new terrain offers some advantages, the first being a more gentle profile, making the park a bit more accessible to novice freestyle skiers and riders, and the second being a lift-serviced snow park! AKAMP runs 9AM to 9PM daily with options for a daytime pass (9AM-5PM) or an evening pass from 5PM-9PM. I spend the day at the office before heading out around 4:30, figuring I'd be stuck in traffic on the 15 but it turned out to be fluid until the 440, and then stop and go through to Saint-Jerome - still, not bad for a long weekend Friday. A few drops of rain hit my windshield on the drive up, but since AKAMP runs rain o...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - June 9, 2019


At the end of the day on June 8th it seemed certain conditions would still be great on the 9th especially with the anticipated high of 30C! I spent much of the day relaxing before heading up to the mountain for late afternoon. This time, I figured I'd just stay on the top section and practice slide turns on what was left of the 70 Ouest top. It was a perfectly beautiful day to take a leisurely hike up the top of La Plagne while enjoying the bright sun and surrounding forest. I spent up until the sun began to sink practicing turns, and took some snaps, and headed home for dinner in the city. Looking down the top pitch of the 70 Ouest - still unbroken with thin coverage with brown sugar. Looking up at the top of the 70 Ouest. Looking down the 70 Ouest on a hazy sunset. Top of 70 Ouest pano just before sunset.

Sommet Saint-Sauveur - June 7, 2019


After skiing down the 70 Ouest the night of the 6th, I was pretty sure all our hopes and dreams for a June 8th opening alongside the waterpark opening were dashed: The top pitch of the 70 Ouest had a narrow path remaining between the only break in the trail, and half the bottom pitch was missing entirely, having sadly melted away. To my absolute delight, one of the first posts I saw on my phone that morning was a video posted by the Sommet Saint-Sauveur of their fearless groomer polishing up the trail - as it turns out they had a secret stash of snow, just enough to anticipate opening from 10AM to 1PM on Saturday June 8th! I was determined to make first tracks! However, as we all know I'm not a functional morning person, so decided to drive up and go for a hike and ride down! I figured this was probably the last good opportunity I'd have to get out on my snowboard since I definitely was not going to try and race all the keeners the next day with my beginner boarder experience, and the ...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - June 6, 2019


Following the June 2 "last chair in Quebec" party, I did a couple of hikes to take advantage of the still unbroken trail. On June 6th, I arrived a bit on the later side so instead of hiking up and skiing down, my strategy was to park at the top of the road running along side of La Plagne and hike in to the top of the 70 Ouest, and then take a taxi back to the car from the bottom (typically less than $10). I hiked into the L'Etoile chair to the tune of frogs and crickets (see clip below) and enjoyed a frosty beverage while watching the sunset and moonrise, and then got ready to ski down. Of course in the evening the snow ices up a little and it was a bit crustier than I'd anticipated, but the trail was still fully connected so it made for a nice slow cruise to the base. The only section needing a little help was the last half of the bottom pitch, which was difficult to see in the dark where the ice was meeting the dirt. I took this section especially slow and only managed to bail on my ...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - June 4, 2019


Hiking season has begun! As Saint-Sauveur's lift-serviced operations came to a close on Sunday afternoon, I had grand confidence that the hush-hush whisperings of a surprise June 8th opening would materialize. Never before in recent years had the 70 Ouest and Nordique (top) been open together for the final day of the season. Surely the base would hold another week and maybe even several! To my surprise, I arrived late this afternoon at the mountain to see that most of the bottom of 70 Ouest was just gone! There had been a few patchy spots on Sunday, sure, but it seemed to me the base was much thicker than to melt so quickly away. I guess they got a lot more rain than I thought! As I arrived, I ran into another late skison enthusiast who had just ridden down the 70 Ouest who assured me the snow, although crusty, was holding up on the rest of the hill. Usually, in the spring I hike up with my board but having arrived later in the day and not being too skilled on the air-chilled crust, I ...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - April 9, 2019

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SURPRISE!!  It's unexpected powder day! I woke up far too early this morning and saw some fat flakes falling but kind of assumed it was just a tease. The snow continued falling and picked up in intensity. So much so that my partner called me from the office just to tell me how much it was snowing!! I had returned my (compact SUV: snow driving appropriate) rental car the previous night, and was kicking myself for not having checked the weather. Just before noon, I sprang into action and booked myself a compact at the shop down the street, and off I went. I should mention, because renting in Quebec, you normally get winter tires, compacts have served me just fine this winter. Today: not so much. I picked up a Ford Fiesta and the wheels started spinning almost right away. Nevertheless, I hit the road, skis and board packed in this...

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Camp Fortune - February 6, 2019

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After the Edelweiss ice skating experience the previous evening and following the day's snow and rain, I was looking forward to hitting the hill with a bit more success on this evening. I packed up the car and headed out to Edelweiss. Once I got to the end of the 50 it took me a few moments to realize how dark it seemed. I mean, it's pretty desolate out there but this was dark, and the traffic lights were blinking. Sure enough I got to Edelweiss to discover the Hydro Quebec outage affecting Cantley, including Edelweiss, Vorlage and probably Cascades (I couldn't get through to them on the phone). One of the school trip chaperones told me the power went out about 7:30 and people were stuck on the lift, but the generator kicked in, getting them to the top of the mountain, and they were all escorted down by ski...

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Sommet Edelweiss - February 5, 2019

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Tonight I had to travel from Montreal to Ottawa and was determined to get some quick skiing in along the way. I'd been to Saint-Sauveur the night before and it was decent "early spring" following all the rain and sleet this past week, but as the rain continued last night they closed at 5pm and weren't an option for my trip plan (Montreal - > Saint-Sauveur -> Orleans via Lachute). Fortunately, Edelweiss, at the end of the line, had my back and planned to stay open til 10. I called around 5:30 to ask if they anticipated an early closing and the guy on the line forwarned me, "we're open but it's not the best conditions, I'd recommend expert level only or not at all". Challenge accepted. I headed out from Montreal at 7 for the 2 hour 21 minute drive, knowing I'd only get in a handful of runs arriving...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - December 31, 2018!

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On the second day in January 2019 I went back in time, to review the abundance of photos from our NYE experience at Sommet St-Sauveur! The mountain was offering an NYE dinner at 7pm with limited availability on the second floor of the T-bar, I actually missed out on the opportunity for the $109 per person tickets for that back in November, but then again, I'd rather be skiing at that hour anyways. I called in advance to find out that the first floor of the T-bar was business as usual for skiers, riders, and guests, only with a limited menu and much less seating than usual. The forecast was calling for 15-20cm of snow, but it hadn't started falling by the time we left home. The NYE festivities included skiing til 9pm, indoor and outdoor djs (which was great because if you disliked the track selection of one space, you could move...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - January 1, 2019

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After the previous evening's festivities, it took me a bit of effort to rally, but I finally talked myself into braving the dropping temps to head up to Saint-Sauveur, which would make up for my annual skipping of the Coney Island polar bear dip. Our day started with a 5pm brunch of mimosas, bacon, and eggs benedict (back story: Scott made a delicious ham and it is incredible on eggs benny!). After brunch I managed to locate all the items I'd shed the night before and a pair of dry mittens and headed up to the mountain. I arrived just after 8:30pm and while it was still busy enough that there was a wait to get on the Atomic chair, the crowd was thinning as the temperature dropped. Not wanting to spend a lot of time waiting in line, I headed over to Cote 68 and was rewarded with a nearly...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - December 9, 2018

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Well it has been some time since my last trip report! This is owing to having dropped my phone and cracked the screen, so it's not as easy to take photos when the snow is falling, risking the phone getting wet! I've actually been to Sommet Saint-Sauveur a few times a week since last month, and had the pleasure of seeing the openings of Nordique, 70 Est, Cote 68, Devaleuse and finally Jay over the last several weeks.The mountain now has 13 runs open during the day and 12 at night, with three chair running during peak hours, along with the magic carpet on the beginner slope. There have been several days with a light dusting of snow to a few inches, and a couple of really cold nights. Tonight, on my last day off work, I made it up for the last few hours of the evening. As luck would have...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - Saturday November 10, 2018

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This micro trip report is brought to you by a lack of sleep the previous night. Made it to the hill at 3:15 but I didn't read the fine print, closing was at 4pm! Just enough time for a few good runs on this snowy day with 20 cm of freshly fallen sticky powder. This is the first time so far that we had to wait in a line to get on the chair, there were a ton of people out. And while Nordique and the Rockstar park (top) were roped off, it wasn't stopping people from dipping under the line, with many fresh tracks covering the runs - definitely for rock skis. After the lift closed we headed over to Axis Boutique and met some familiar faces from AKAMP. The day was a tease and I'll be back tomorrow to enjoy more of it! Nordique top is significantly improved over last week's...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - Sunday November 4, 2018

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I had initially planned to go to Saint-Sauveur on Saturday but the anticipated night skiing didn't happen due to the weather. So I headed up on Sunday afternoon, arriving around 3:30 to the beginning of sunset. Some people were still arriving and some were leaving and mentioned it was pretty icy, which wasn't surprising given last week's rain. I got ready and headed to L'Etoile, currently the only running chairlift serving the 70 Ouest. What a difference a week makes - compared to the previous week's coverage of natural snow, the Nordique was almost bare all the way up, with just a few snowy patches remaining. The 70 Ouest itself had corn in some spots but for the most part was thin cover over ice, with some short sections of only ice. Sharp edges were useful here! The snowpark also changed as the pipe was out and only the rail remained, but...

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur - Opening weekend October 27, 2018

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Sommet Saint-Sauveur surprised with an early opening Friday, but it wasn't until Saturday evening that I was able to head up, and it seems as though I picked the perfect time! As I started walking to the car with all my gear, heavy and wet flurries were falling from the sky. So much so that I had to turn back to rescue my balcony herbs from certain death! I got on the road just after 6:30 and was cruising along steadily in the storm when I realized how slick the roads were as there were no salt trucks up and running. It ended up being a rather slow drive, and I pulled into the parking lot just after 7:30 for the first night ski of the season. I picked up my Passe Parfait, and headed to l'Etoile for a ride in the falling snow -- it was really coming down! The snowmaking of...

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Killington - Opening weekend, October 21, 2018!

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I'll admit, I wasn't prepared for an early season start. My alarm went off at 9am and for a hot minute I contemplated nixing my plan for the day's mini road trip - I am not a functional morning person and the morning's first thought of a three hour long trip in the car was not altogether motivational. When my second alarm went off ten minutes later I decided to suck it up and get moving while my partner and cats continued to snuggle under the covers. I'd packed all my gear the night before and had only to get ready and make a quick coffee and breakfast sandwich before hitting the road - I was out of here by about 10:30 and onwards to Killington! The skies were cloudy with some flurries, and the roads were clean and it took me about an even 3 hours and 15 minutes to get...

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AKAMP 2018, June 30-July 4!

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It's a story every Canadian has heard through their lifetime: An American family plans their summer vacation in Canada, looking forward to getting away from the sweltering heat. They pack up their skis and boards on their roof rack and head to the border. As they cross, they tell the border guy that the purpose of their trip is to go skiing/riding. The border guy laughs and laughs, but waves them through anyways, wishing them a great trip It turns out this isn't a myth. Skiing in July is real! AKAMP is a special sort of unicorn, born 11 years ago by some guy in Saint-Sauveur who thought it would be a great idea to run a summer ski/ride camp. The first few years, I'm told, he put in thousands of dollars out of his own pocket to make this event happen. Over time, the word has spread, bringing skiers and...

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Jay Peak last day, May 6, 2018

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All good things must come to an end, and so it was with Jay Peak, or what was left of it. Apparently there were 26 "trails" open but this is probably the sum of many sections. When I woke up Sunday morning, I decided I'd have enough time to get down and ski for a few hours, which was just fine with me because I was aching from the previous day's hike. A friend had graciously gifted me a ticket at guest services, so all I had to do was show up and I was off and running! Stateside is the only side of Jay open, while it is normal for them to close out their season on Stateside, they'd had to close the Tramside earlier following a vicious windstorm that entangled the tram cables! I am told that there was still plenty of great skiing to be had if you...

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