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Piste injury - how to get down to village

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Yesterday I fell quite badly. I was able to get up realise there was no broken bones but hardly able to ski. Have sustained what I think is groin injury.

I was unable to get back to the gondola so had to “survival ski” - basically sliding down sideways to the bottom. It hurt a lot and I wasn’t in control but it seemed there was no other option.
I didn’t feel as though I needed to be taken off in stretcher as assumed they were for more serious injuries but on reflection should I have? Is that what you pay your insurance for ??How do you get one ?

So that was day 1 - watching family head off today for rest of skiing in blue bird conditions (lucky them!)
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Yes, of course you should have called piste rescue. Phone numbers displayed in places like lift pass offices and sensible to have on your phone! Before the days of mobile phone, it was often the case that someone in your group, or helpful passer by, would ski down and inform the liftie at the bottom of the slope. If you are going to be claiming anything on your insurance then starting the whole process with a receipt/report from piste rescue makes good sense.

Piste rescue people are fantastic - really expert and on top of all the local facilities and services.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Definitely should have been stretchered off. If you had a carte neige that would have covered the cost, or you could have claimed off insurance. Some may not even charge you directly and will just bill your insurance company.

Hope the strain eases up. I would recommend arnica and wintergreens, but maybe not “down there”! Shocked
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Timmycb5 wrote:
Definitely should have been stretchered off.


Agreed.

Timmycb5 wrote:

If you had a carte neige that would have covered the cost, or you could have claimed off insurance. Some may not even charge you directly and will just bill your insurance company.


The OP didn't say which country he was skiing in, if in France then carte neige is I believe the season long piste rescue insurance whilst carre neige is the per day version you can add when purchasing your lift ticket, see this thread: https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=121758
In some other countries piste rescue may already be included in the lift ticket e.g it certainly is in the Italian Dolomiti Superski pass.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Every year I explain to whoever I’m with, the rescue numbers are on the piste maps.
In France i alway recommend carte neige
Ask for it when you buy your lift ticket.
It’s around 2 euro a day.

It covers you for mountain rescue.

If you don’t have it expect to swipe your credit card at the bottom.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Take note of nearest piste marker number, get member of family / party / passer-by to ski to nearest lift and ask for help. Chances are there'll be a skidoo with you in minutes and they'll either take you down on the back of the skidoo, put you in a stretcher or call for a heli depending on the severity of the injury.
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Oh bother. Oh well at least I know about this now. I’m in Italy and yes bought the extra insurance for piste rescue .

It’s the normally British stiff upper lip and not wanting to cause a fuss. Never have had to use the stretchers before so kinda assumed they were for breaks or worse injuries.


Not sure if I can recover cost of lift pass as now don’t have any “proof”.

Hobbling around today -
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Hils68, If you're not skiing due to injury, may as well go to the local clinic and find out what you've done. They'll give you some paperwork regarding your injury you can send to your insurance company should you need to make a claim.
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Quote:

It’s the normally British stiff upper lip and not wanting to cause a fuss.

I can understand that - I did that in Cairngorm many, many, years ago, late in the afternoon when the weather was closing in and it was blowing a hoolie. Damaged my knee, hobbled down the mountain, got on coach back to East Kilbride, walked to get fish and chips in Kingussie, drove home from East Kilbride (it was my left clutch foot and didn't have to change gear much) and never got any treatment for a knee that was blown up like a football the next morning and is still a problem 37 years later!

Hope it's better soon. Physio might help.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
So far this season in France.

We were skiing down a closed blue piste* to get to an off-piste line, and just as I was about to drop in a massive gust hit, which knocked the OH off her feet and as she fell one ski came off which she then hit with the upper part of her fibula.

Cut a long story short, she was able to ski down, taking green chemins, in a fair amount of discomfort, and next morning we went to the hospital to get an X-Ray and that confirmed it was just severe bruising but she was off games for a couple of weeks, such was the pain etc and as ever with severe contusion it always seems to that it's at its worse six days in as that's the worst of the bruising.

Didn't have to pay as we are in the French medical system.

If it had been severe and we needed medical help then that could have raised a few issues re insurance, but we could have said we were ski-touring as we have separate insurance for that, but would have been complicated.

Then three weeks after that, getting my daughter into off-piste and she goes over the handlebars on a traverse and its pretty obvious that she's in a bad way, so then it was a case of getting her back to the piste to call for the bloodwagon, which was no easy thing, and I took around 45mins digging a trench so she could limp out on to a track where we could see if she could try and ski back to the piste, which we managed but she was in a lot of pain.



When we were on the piste a pisteur first aid happened to ski down, so she checked Loulou over to assess and then called the blood wagon, and the whole thing was pretty damn impressive as I skied down following them.

At the bottom the ambulance was waiting and I went with her and my skis were "taken" from me and it was explained that I'd have to go back with proof of insurance to the Piste Security Office.

The OH had already skied down and we said we'd meet at the hospital but in fact the ambulance took us to a medical center that I didn't know existed just up the road.

There daughter was assessed / x-rayed and that cost €95 which we paid there, even though she had a GHIC as they explained you have to claim it back once in the UK, not the same process that used to happen, is this post Brexit?

I then went back to the Security office with proof of insurance, but then we still had to print out a form and complete that and post it elsewhere, so all in all not seamless as one would expect, and if we were non-residents without access to a printer etc etc and just here for a week would you bother, though I suspect maybe you would not be given your skis back so readily?

I'm sure it probably differs from resort to resort as well, but aside from the piste rescue, it was explained to me that the real cost was for the Ambulance transportation and that's where the resort uses the insurance to pay the ambulance company etc
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@Weathercam, blimey that’s some trench you dug.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@Weathercam, why didn't you just call the rescue to your daughter where she was?

If the medical centre she went to was a private facility I think GHIC is irrelevant, isn't it? When I broke my pelvis I had to pay upfront for X ray and medical attention in the resort clinic and then claim back off insurance.
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Hils68 wrote:
@Weathercam, blimey that’s some trench you dug!
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Interesting topic, so thanks OP for asking the question.

Where would I buy Carré Neige in La Plagne, is it something you tend to buy at the ski pass office? I can't seem to find anywhere to order it on the la-plagne.com website
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Origen wrote:
@Weathercam, why didn't you just call the rescue to your daughter where she was?

If the medical centre she went to was a private facility I think GHIC is irrelevant, isn't it? When I broke my pelvis I had to pay upfront for X ray and medical attention in the resort clinic and then claim back off insurance.


95% sure the insurance you buy with your lift ticket does not include off-piste, but I must ask the question one of these days, though what one person tells you can be totally different from the actual.

And 75% sure that the medical centre is not private, as I was talking to the Doctors about the new one we have opening if not now*, very soon 750m from us, being the same set-up, and that we can now use that as our local GP surgery etc

The investment is bonkers and quite OTT in that there is another one (the one my daughter went to) not even 5km away!!!

*for High Season holidays


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Mon 12-02-24 12:40; edited 1 time in total
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Weathercam wrote:
...and if we were non-residents without access to a printer etc etc and just here for a week would you bother

Tourist Offices usually have printers, as do immobiliers, AirBnBs probably don't though.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Quote:

95% sure the insurance you buy with your lift ticket does not include insurance.


Carré Neige and Carte Neige both include off piste rescue, if that's what you mean.

But a lot of travel insurance policies cover it as well - but as often discussed on Snowheads you do need to read the small print. Policies which exclude skiing against local advice will exclude skiing a closed piste, too. When I argued the toss with Dog Tag insurance, years ago, they told me it would include "outside the resort limits" when there was an avalanche warning in place. Even at level 1.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
If you are hurt on the mountain, call for help. Don't try self extracting you will probably make it worse.
If you don't have the contact number for the resort (it's on the piste map) calling the emergency services will get you redirected to the ski patrol to come and help.

Ski pass insurance in general covers you for off piste rescue within the ski area, the only time it gets strange is when it's a closed run.

If you are worried about insurance covering you join an alpine club and get their insurance, you may need to pay for an upgrade for USA/Japan but it is inexpensive compared to other off piste ski insurance. There is the downside of paperwork when making a claim, but it works anywhere off a city street.

@Weathercam, Please next time call the rescue suervices, yes they will have a laugh at your expense but its way less effort than you put in.

Pre cellphone days I have had some very long days extracting dammaged friends on a powder day.
Having worked in less equiped parts of the world I have got myself trained in wilderness medical extraction and have no want to suffer if I just make a phone call.
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In the US, rescue insurance, to get you down the mountain, is included in the lift ticket price.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
rjstua wrote:
Interesting topic, so thanks OP for asking the question.

Where would I buy Carré Neige in La Plagne, is it something you tend to buy at the ski pass office? I can't seem to find anywhere to order it on the la-plagne.com website


You buy it at the lift pass station … not sure about on line but it’s around €3 per day per person
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@Idris, so what's the deal where you work with Brits now, is there any change since the dreaded B word ?

Once a Brit has gone down in a blood wagon what's the procedure, do you for instance keep hold of the skis, until proof of insurance etc

Are they taken to a medical centre if the injury is deemed to not be too serious, or straight to a hospital?

I did think the systems here were very clumsy, in the office they called up the lift pass serial number and could see it was with insurance alongside all the necessary details, name address etc but they still wanted the form submitted, again all the info was on the same system.

And I will go and ask, after all these years here, what is and where is covered by the lift pass, but what I get told might not actually be correct?


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Mon 12-02-24 13:04; edited 1 time in total
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Hils68 wrote:
@Weathercam, blimey that’s some trench you dug.


You can say that out loud. Huge trap for every skier to come afterwards. Shocked
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Weathercam, the lift pass doesn't cover rescue, but you can pay the extra (by the day or for the season) to cover it. So was all that heroic trench digging and painful hobbling because you didn't have insurance covering off piste skiing? Shocked
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Almost all UK winter sports insurance policies include piste rescue in the event of injury - hopefully nobody goes skiing without this (and the liability insurance that also usually comes with such a policy). An annual £50-ish membership of an Alpine Club (e.g. the Austrian one) includes worldwide rescue coverage for a number of outdoor activities - not just skiing, but also MTB, hiking and others.

The procedure for getting rescued hasn't changed even with the advent of mobile phones. Since you might not actually have a signal on the mountain, the procedure is that someone skis down to the nearest lift (or restaurant) and informs the liftie of the piste number, location and seriousness of the injury or accident. Many lift stations have AED defibrillators if one is needed.

The phone number of the piste patrol is almost always printed on the paper piste map - and in some resorts it is displayed on the reverse side of the piste-marker lollipops. Always carry a paper piste map - apps and mobile phones are useless if there's no signal or the phone battery has died, or you've left the phone back in the chalet.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
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@Origen, that's the question I'm curious about, but next time my daughter is out she'll have the insurance that we have anyway!

It's that finite/grey line between what is construed as off-piste, inter-piste etc etc

And she's just starting to ski with avy gear having learnt how to use it all, as we were venturing further afield, all part of the learning curve etc

That whole face is easily accessible via a pisted track which you make out in the photo, a lot of that debris is avalanche debris from above from the gazex and then snow from the piste basher, and then fresh snow on top, it's an area which quickly gets skied out, there's even a mini snow park on the run out, so all probability you are covered there, but again we do not know the definitive answer, and there are other similar areas where groups of 12 kids follow an instructor etc for a taste of off-piste along with families etc losing skis Laughing

We skin up behind that face and that is definitely off-piste terrain.

@Tristero, will get quickly filled in with all the activity I described above.


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Mon 12-02-24 13:37; edited 1 time in total
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Hils68 wrote:
@Weathercam, blimey that’s some trench you dug.
If you look more closely I think you'll see it's probably the camera angle.

But if you're not allowed to walk on it, how are you going to get up it? There's probably be an f-sight more tracks if you made a call out.
Frozen sled tracks are more of a problem I'd say, but not much of one once you know about them.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Hils68 wrote:
rjstua wrote:
Interesting topic, so thanks OP for asking the question.

Where would I buy Carré Neige in La Plagne, is it something you tend to buy at the ski pass office? I can't seem to find anywhere to order it on the la-plagne.com website


You buy it at the lift pass station … not sure about on line but it’s around €3 per day per person


top man, I'll pick those up for the family when I arrive!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Your travel insurance could well cover the same things, @rjstua, with much bigger financial limits. The local insurance is a "belt and braces" effort, for the price of a cup of coffee, but not necessarily essential. Skiing off piste without adequate insurance is unwise, to put it no more strongly....
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@quinton, worth also mentioning that some countries require you to have third party liability insurance, so not getting travel insurance with winter sports cover could really land someone in hot water.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
In addition to the resort emergency number being on piste maps, etc (add it to your phine at the begining of the week) the resorts app probably has an emergency/sos button on it; All the ones I've used have.

I fell a few years ago in Livigno and tweaked my knee or do I thought at the time. Another run and then lunch and I found after that I was limping (could hardly walk). I skied down as I thought it'd hopefully ease off. By the time I got down I knew my week was over (ligament strain and, as it turned out, a cracked tib' plateau). Probably in retrospect have called rescue (hobbled 20m to their hut Eh oh! ) but it didn't seem to be warranted s
At the time.

Last week I saw someone with, what appeared to be a broken collar bone (spend enough time at bike races and you know) being got ready to go in a sled. Having done mine twice, I thought I'd rather ski down than take the sled all the way from the top of the mountain.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Weathercam wrote:

Once a Brit has gone down in a blood wagon what's the procedure, do you for instance keep hold of the skis, until proof of insurance etc
Are they taken to a medical centre if the injury is deemed to not be too serious, or straight to a hospital?


We were "rehydrating" at the end of a rather warm day in Arabba last week and watching a procession of snowmobiles come down with people on the back... Dunno about standard operating procedures, but did overhear the pisteur (ITA equiv?) ask the owner of a clearly knackered ACL (full on Elvis leg) "do you want go to Medical Center or Bar?"
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@adithorp, the leg was at full stank that afternoon Laughing you'll be pleased to know that the story got wheeled out at least 4 times in Alleghe.

I had a similar story a few years back in VT, got twisted in some soft bumps on piste (although during an intro to off piste lesson). I sat for a bit and then ultimately decided that I could probably ski it off. Quickly realised I couldn't and headed back to the hotel, but was feeling a little queasy when I got there. Spent a few days resting it before going stir crazy and deciding to ski on. A reckless decision but it was actually not too bad, I just couldn't get up or down stairs easily. The diagnosis after an MRI several weeks later was that I'd dislocated the knee but everything else supposedly okay...that doesn't stop it regularly aching though, I suspect for the rest of my days (ain't skiing brilliant!)
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Quote:

worth also mentioning that some countries require you to have third party liability insurance, so not getting travel insurance with winter sports cover could really land someone in hot water.


This can't be overemphasised. A third party claim could bankrupt the wealthiest of us. Travel insurance is likely to include that cover but only if you stick to the conditions. So if you injure someone when you're skiing on a closed piste (or off piste without insurance!).......
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It seems a bit simple to say you should always call mountain rescue.

I once fell when off piste, mellow terrain, not too far from the piste. To this day I've no idea why or what happened. When I got up my thigh was killing me. It was a mighty struggle to get back to the piste and ski home. Took the rest of the day off, skied the next day (last day of holiday). Had a huge bruise but other than that I was soon right has rain.

Definitely a marginal call for me.

It's not for want of insurance just the hassle/time involved.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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Timmycb5 wrote:
Definitely should have been stretchered off. If you had a carte neige that would have covered the cost, or you could have claimed off insurance. Some may not even charge you directly and will just bill your insurance company.

Hope the strain eases up. I would recommend arnica and wintergreens, but maybe not “down there”! Shocked


Other insurance products are available. As are other nations than France to ski in (indeed even other regions within France).
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SnoodyMcFlude wrote:
@adithorp, the leg was at full stank that afternoon Laughing you'll be pleased to know that the story got wheeled out at least 4 times in Alleghe.


In a derogatory fashion I hope Puzzled

SnoodyMcFlude wrote:
...ain't skiing brilliant!


Yours? Meh! Laughing
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Quote:

Other insurance products are available. As are other nations than France to ski in (indeed even other regions within France).

And the relevance of that comment to the discussion is?????????
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
When I was stretchered off in Cervinia last season I was first asked if I had a lift pass which was checked by the patrol and then if I had a credit card and insurance. Answering yes to all three got me down without any issue and I paid the medical centre whilst I was there.
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If you have your GHIC with you then that will cover most of the hospital costs, anyway. We found the GHIC useful at a French A&E simply as a mechanism for streamlining the admissions process: they just took a look, recorded the details and that part of the process was done. Key thing is to make sure that you actually have it on you: if arriving by helicopter there's no room for anyone else so you may be on your own until your companions turn up. Which can be a fair time later if they have to get off the mountain, back to the accommodation, change and then drive/taxi to where you've been flown.

BTW, I'm not advocating relying on the GHIC exclusively - you absolutely need travel insurance for all the non-hospital costs and option to be flown home etc. And I also take out the lift pass assurance too, again as a streamlining thing in a situation where you want to focus on the injured person, not a load of admin. And if you're the victim, alone, and morphined-up to the eyeballs, then the less you have to do, the better.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Been doing a bit more digging Toofy Grin

And Carre Neige FAQ's state....

Le Carré Neige couvre-t-il la pratique du hors-piste?

Oui, Le Carré Neige couvre le hors-piste accessible depuis les remontées mécaniques avec un forfait valable sur le domaine skiable.

And for Ski Touring - but could be a little complicated, on a case-by-case basis.

Le Carré Neige couvre-t-il la pratique du ski de randonnée ?

Oui, Le ski de randonnée est couvert par le Carré Neige lorsque la pratique est ponctuelle, pour les clients qui viennent en séjour une semaine et décident occasionnellement (une journée) de pratiquer le ski de randonnée (tout en possédant un forfait valable sur le domaine skiable avec un Carré Neige). Les dossiers seront bien entendu analysés au cas par cas.


Over the many years of wind & kitesurfing we always went out of our way not to rely on the RNLI and try and do self-rescue as more often than not it was equipment failure rather than an injury, and I suppose that still holds true for me where ever possible, and my daughter was adamant she didn't want to be blood wagoned off - hence her wanting to try and walk out and get down to the top of the gondola which might have been possible.


@LaForet, when was the last time you were in a situation requiring you to be in a French Hospital A&E etc just think things have changed over the last few years, and maybe medical centres might be the new norm as opposed to hospitals etc, which I know exist in other major resorts as opposed to hospitals


Last edited by Ski the Net with snowHeads on Mon 12-02-24 19:02; edited 2 times in total
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