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Accident while lowering at City of Rocks
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jt512


Sep 14, 2010, 6:34 PM
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Re: [redlude97] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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redlude97 wrote:
jt512 wrote:
socalclimber wrote:

Therefore, there is only one answer, close the fucking system. Otherwise, stay at home.

My point was that no matter how strongly you preach this, it isn't going to happen. I know a lot of sport climbers, and have observed many others. You know how many "close the system" every time on a single-pitch sport route? None.

So, if the reality is that sport climber's aren't going to always "close the system," then isn't it pointless to keep telling them to do so. Wouldn't it make more sense to emphasize the importance of knowing the length of the route and their rope, and paying attention to where the end of the rope is while lowering (which, incidentally, is something both the lowerer and the loweree should do)?

Edit: While I'm on the subject, if you get lowered off the end of your rope, then four mistakes happened: (1) you didn't tie a knot in the rope, (2) neither did your partner, (3) you didn't pay attention to where the end of the rope was while being lowered, and (4) neither did your partner.

Jay
At the same time many single pitch sport climbers use rope bags/tarps so they "close the system" unknowingly

I can count the sport climbers I've met on one hand who routinely tie the belayer end of the rope into the rope bag.

Jay


socalclimber


Sep 14, 2010, 6:44 PM
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Re: [jt512] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
redlude97 wrote:
jt512 wrote:
socalclimber wrote:

Therefore, there is only one answer, close the fucking system. Otherwise, stay at home.

My point was that no matter how strongly you preach this, it isn't going to happen. I know a lot of sport climbers, and have observed many others. You know how many "close the system" every time on a single-pitch sport route? None.

So, if the reality is that sport climber's aren't going to always "close the system," then isn't it pointless to keep telling them to do so. Wouldn't it make more sense to emphasize the importance of knowing the length of the route and their rope, and paying attention to where the end of the rope is while lowering (which, incidentally, is something both the lowerer and the loweree should do)?

Edit: While I'm on the subject, if you get lowered off the end of your rope, then four mistakes happened: (1) you didn't tie a knot in the rope, (2) neither did your partner, (3) you didn't pay attention to where the end of the rope was while being lowered, and (4) neither did your partner.

Jay
At the same time many single pitch sport climbers use rope bags/tarps so they "close the system" unknowingly

I can count the sport climbers I've met on one hand who routinely tie the belayer end of the rope into the rope bag.

Jay

Let us not forget, while these accidents tend to be in sport climbing areas, it applies to trad routes as well.


(This post was edited by socalclimber on Sep 14, 2010, 6:45 PM)


jt512


Sep 14, 2010, 7:49 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
jt512 wrote:
redlude97 wrote:
jt512 wrote:
socalclimber wrote:

Therefore, there is only one answer, close the fucking system. Otherwise, stay at home.

My point was that no matter how strongly you preach this, it isn't going to happen. I know a lot of sport climbers, and have observed many others. You know how many "close the system" every time on a single-pitch sport route? None.

So, if the reality is that sport climber's aren't going to always "close the system," then isn't it pointless to keep telling them to do so. Wouldn't it make more sense to emphasize the importance of knowing the length of the route and their rope, and paying attention to where the end of the rope is while lowering (which, incidentally, is something both the lowerer and the loweree should do)?

Edit: While I'm on the subject, if you get lowered off the end of your rope, then four mistakes happened: (1) you didn't tie a knot in the rope, (2) neither did your partner, (3) you didn't pay attention to where the end of the rope was while being lowered, and (4) neither did your partner.

Jay
At the same time many single pitch sport climbers use rope bags/tarps so they "close the system" unknowingly

I can count the sport climbers I've met on one hand who routinely tie the belayer end of the rope into the rope bag.

Jay

Let us not forget, while these accidents tend to be in sport climbing areas, it applies to trad routes as well.

Well, trad's a different story. You don't normally lower off in trad climbing. Rather the leader will pull up the slack from the anchors. The second had better be tied-in to the rope so that the leader doesn't pull the rope up too far.

Jay


socalclimber


Sep 14, 2010, 8:01 PM
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Re: [jt512] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
jt512 wrote:
redlude97 wrote:
jt512 wrote:
socalclimber wrote:

Therefore, there is only one answer, close the fucking system. Otherwise, stay at home.

My point was that no matter how strongly you preach this, it isn't going to happen. I know a lot of sport climbers, and have observed many others. You know how many "close the system" every time on a single-pitch sport route? None.

So, if the reality is that sport climber's aren't going to always "close the system," then isn't it pointless to keep telling them to do so. Wouldn't it make more sense to emphasize the importance of knowing the length of the route and their rope, and paying attention to where the end of the rope is while lowering (which, incidentally, is something both the lowerer and the loweree should do)?

Edit: While I'm on the subject, if you get lowered off the end of your rope, then four mistakes happened: (1) you didn't tie a knot in the rope, (2) neither did your partner, (3) you didn't pay attention to where the end of the rope was while being lowered, and (4) neither did your partner.

Jay
At the same time many single pitch sport climbers use rope bags/tarps so they "close the system" unknowingly

I can count the sport climbers I've met on one hand who routinely tie the belayer end of the rope into the rope bag.

Jay

Let us not forget, while these accidents tend to be in sport climbing areas, it applies to trad routes as well.

Well, trad's a different story. You don't normally lower off in trad climbing. Rather the leader will pull up the slack from the anchors. The second had better be tied-in to the rope so that the leader doesn't pull the rope up too far.

Jay

Well, yes and no. If it's a pair or maybe three. But with a group in a given area it's not uncommon. Same rules apply.


Partner robdotcalm


Sep 15, 2010, 10:52 AM
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Re: [jt512] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
A handful of climbers preaching that we should always knot the end of the rope ...
Jay

Yep, you’re right were preaching. Here’s some Talmudic wisdom I dispensed over the weekend:

Rabbi Eliezer said to the belayer : “Repent and tie into the rope the day before your partner dies. The belayer asked him, “Does one then know the day on which he will die?” Rabbi Eliezer replied: “All the more reason, you should repent and tie in today, lest your partner die tomorrow”.

Here’s the background. The 10-day period between Rosh Hashanah (New Year’s) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is a period of reflection and repentance. This past weekend I was on a retreat where we updated old sayings and dicta for the period in a way to make them more meaningful for ourselves. The above is my translation (?) of Rabbi Eliezer’s advice. A more traditional translation is this.

Rabbi Eliezer said: “Repent the day before your death.” His students asked him, “Does then one know on what day he will die?” Rabbi Eliezer replied: “All the more reason he should repent today, lest he die tomorrow.” (Babylonia Talmud, Section Shabbat, 53a).

The non-climbers in the group were amazed that one wouldn’t take such a simple precaution and suggested that if the partner were to die, then at the minimum, the belayer would (in a theological sense) be guilty of negligent homicide. In general, the non-climbers reaction to this was the most interesting since it was so different from the climbers’ reactions.

B’shalom
Reuven


(This post was edited by robdotcalm on Sep 17, 2010, 9:10 AM)


Partner robdotcalm


Sep 15, 2010, 11:09 AM
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Re: [j_ung] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:

If the notion of losing an end on lowering is 50-100' feet away from possible, I really don't bother. However, I consider it every single time -- that's my habit.

More Preaching. Upstream in this thread, I gave an example of where a death resulted from just this reasoning with a 200 foot rope and a climber to be lowered 40 feet., fatal outcome . You got some bad habits.

If you always tie in when you don’t need to, you will do it when you do need to.

Cheers,
Rob.calm


curt


Sep 15, 2010, 11:16 AM
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Re: [jt512] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
jt512 wrote:
redlude97 wrote:
jt512 wrote:
socalclimber wrote:

Therefore, there is only one answer, close the fucking system. Otherwise, stay at home.

My point was that no matter how strongly you preach this, it isn't going to happen. I know a lot of sport climbers, and have observed many others. You know how many "close the system" every time on a single-pitch sport route? None.

So, if the reality is that sport climber's aren't going to always "close the system," then isn't it pointless to keep telling them to do so. Wouldn't it make more sense to emphasize the importance of knowing the length of the route and their rope, and paying attention to where the end of the rope is while lowering (which, incidentally, is something both the lowerer and the loweree should do)?

Edit: While I'm on the subject, if you get lowered off the end of your rope, then four mistakes happened: (1) you didn't tie a knot in the rope, (2) neither did your partner, (3) you didn't pay attention to where the end of the rope was while being lowered, and (4) neither did your partner.

Jay
At the same time many single pitch sport climbers use rope bags/tarps so they "close the system" unknowingly

I can count the sport climbers I've met on one hand who routinely tie the belayer end of the rope into the rope bag.

Jay

Let us not forget, while these accidents tend to be in sport climbing areas, it applies to trad routes as well.

Well, trad's a different story. You don't normally lower off in trad climbing. Rather the leader will pull up the slack from the anchors. The second had better be tied-in to the rope so that the leader doesn't pull the rope up too far.

Jay

That's true for multi-pitch trad, but not necessarily for single pitch routes. Sometimes it's more convenient to lower and belay the second from the ground.

Curt


jt512


Sep 15, 2010, 1:32 PM
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Re: [curt] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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curt wrote:
jt512 wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
jt512 wrote:
redlude97 wrote:
jt512 wrote:
socalclimber wrote:

Therefore, there is only one answer, close the fucking system. Otherwise, stay at home.

My point was that no matter how strongly you preach this, it isn't going to happen. I know a lot of sport climbers, and have observed many others. You know how many "close the system" every time on a single-pitch sport route? None.

So, if the reality is that sport climber's aren't going to always "close the system," then isn't it pointless to keep telling them to do so. Wouldn't it make more sense to emphasize the importance of knowing the length of the route and their rope, and paying attention to where the end of the rope is while lowering (which, incidentally, is something both the lowerer and the loweree should do)?

Edit: While I'm on the subject, if you get lowered off the end of your rope, then four mistakes happened: (1) you didn't tie a knot in the rope, (2) neither did your partner, (3) you didn't pay attention to where the end of the rope was while being lowered, and (4) neither did your partner.

Jay
At the same time many single pitch sport climbers use rope bags/tarps so they "close the system" unknowingly

I can count the sport climbers I've met on one hand who routinely tie the belayer end of the rope into the rope bag.

Jay

Let us not forget, while these accidents tend to be in sport climbing areas, it applies to trad routes as well.

Well, trad's a different story. You don't normally lower off in trad climbing. Rather the leader will pull up the slack from the anchors. The second had better be tied-in to the rope so that the leader doesn't pull the rope up too far.

Jay

That's true for multi-pitch trad, but not necessarily for single pitch routes. Sometimes it's more convenient to lower and belay the second from the ground.

Curt

Well, the phrase "single-pitch sport routes and single-pitch trad routes in which it is more convenient to lower and belay the second from the ground" is a bit much. I'm going to stick with the abbreviation "single-pitch sport routes," and rely on the reader's intelligence—albeit a risky practice—to make the inference to applicable trad routes.

Jay


marc801


Sep 15, 2010, 3:04 PM
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Re: [jt512] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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jt512 wrote:
I'm going to stick with the abbreviation "single-pitch sport routes," and rely on the reader's intelligence—albeit a risky practice—to make the inference to applicable trad routes.
Now that's just crazy talk!


socalclimber


Sep 15, 2010, 4:19 PM
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Re: [marc801] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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marc801 wrote:
jt512 wrote:
I'm going to stick with the abbreviation "single-pitch sport routes," and rely on the reader's intelligence—albeit a risky practice—to make the inference to applicable trad routes.
Now that's just crazy talk!

Maybe, but it sure is funny as hell.


Partner j_ung


Sep 16, 2010, 8:31 AM
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Re: [robdotcalm] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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robdotcalm wrote:
j_ung wrote:

If the notion of losing an end on lowering is 50-100' feet away from possible, I really don't bother. However, I consider it every single time -- that's my habit.

More Preaching. Upstream in this thread, I gave an example of where a death resulted from just this reasoning with a 200 foot rope and a climber to be lowered 40 feet., fatal outcome . You got some bad habits.

If you always tie in when you don’t need to, you will do it when you do need to.

Cheers,
Rob.calm

I don't believe I do have bad habits. If I decided to tie in short (who knows why?) I'd like to think I would re-evaluate the entire situation.


jt512


Sep 16, 2010, 11:02 AM
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robdotcalm wrote:
j_ung wrote:

If the notion of losing an end on lowering is 50-100' feet away from possible, I really don't bother. However, I consider it every single time -- that's my habit.

More Preaching. Upstream in this thread, I gave an example of where a death resulted from just this reasoning with a 200 foot rope and a climber to be lowered 40 feet., fatal outcome . You got some bad habits.

The cause of that accident was the bizarre decision to tie into the middle of the rope.

Jay


Partner robdotcalm


Sep 16, 2010, 7:47 PM
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jt512 wrote:
robdotcalm wrote:
j_ung wrote:

If the notion of losing an end on lowering is 50-100' feet away from possible, I really don't bother. However, I consider it every single time -- that's my habit.

More Preaching. Upstream in this thread, I gave an example of where a death resulted from just this reasoning with a 200 foot rope and a climber to be lowered 40 feet., fatal outcome . You got some bad habits.

The cause of that accident was the bizarre decision to tie into the middle of the rope.

Jay
My rephrasing: A contributing factor to that accident was the bizarre decision to tie into the middle of the rope.

Rob.calm


curt


Sep 16, 2010, 8:43 PM
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robdotcalm wrote:
jt512 wrote:
robdotcalm wrote:
j_ung wrote:

If the notion of losing an end on lowering is 50-100' feet away from possible, I really don't bother. However, I consider it every single time -- that's my habit.

More Preaching. Upstream in this thread, I gave an example of where a death resulted from just this reasoning with a 200 foot rope and a climber to be lowered 40 feet., fatal outcome . You got some bad habits.

The cause of that accident was the bizarre decision to tie into the middle of the rope.

Jay

My rephrasing: A contributing factor to that accident was the bizarre decision to tie into the middle of the rope.

Rob.calm

That and a cheesetit. Cool

Curt


marc801


Sep 16, 2010, 10:56 PM
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Re: [j_ung] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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j_ung wrote:
I don't believe I do have bad habits.
Says everyone prior to them or their partner getting seriously injured or killed.


socalclimber


Sep 17, 2010, 5:08 AM
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Re: [marc801] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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marc801 wrote:
j_ung wrote:
I don't believe I do have bad habits.
Says everyone prior to them or their partner getting seriously injured or killed.

I think bad habits are inherent in all of us.

By the way, does anybody know how the guy is doing?


Partner camhead


Sep 17, 2010, 7:10 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
marc801 wrote:
j_ung wrote:
I don't believe I do have bad habits.
Says everyone prior to them or their partner getting seriously injured or killed.

I think bad habits are inherent in all of us.

By the way, does anybody know how the guy is doing?

No.

Nobody in here has shown that they know anything about this accident, beyond copying and pasting a thread from another site. No firsthand accounts, no friends of the victims, no discussion of which route it was or anything. A few pages back I asked if anyone knew which route this was on, and was met with silence. I don't think that anyone really cares.

Just the regular speculating and arguing by people with no connection to this accident whatsoever.


Partner rgold


Sep 17, 2010, 7:39 AM
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"The guy" is doing remarkably well considering what happened, but is still seriously banged up. Broken nose, broken ribs, a cracked vertebrae in the neck, shoulder, elbow and knee injuries, forty staples (now just removed) to close a large head wound.

All these injuries are expected to heal in time without surgical intervention, although some physical therapy is called for and has already been started. The neck injury requires wearing a neck brace for perhaps as much as another month, with no driving or working during that period.


socalclimber


Sep 17, 2010, 7:44 AM
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Thanks for the update rgold.

Camhead,

NO! And I quote: "(in order words, the rope was too short to lower him off)". This type of accident has a limited number of causes. Period. They have been covered by myself and a handful of others who know what they are talking about. There is no speculation here what so ever. The preaching is spot on, just close the system.


funnelator


Sep 17, 2010, 8:36 AM
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And also "the guy" has very very extensive experience, as does the belayer. If it can happen to them it can happen to anyone. Overconfidence stalks us all perhaps.

As the OP said and as SoCal says, close the system. As for me, I didn't routinely do so, but after a few conversations with Scott Cosgrove about guides and friends he knew who had dropped people, I changed my ways. Indeed, just a few years ago, in another accident close to home, a long experience guide did drop someone resulting in the client breaking a leg.

Wishing both "the guy" and his belayer a very speedy and full recovery.


(This post was edited by funnelator on Sep 17, 2010, 8:39 AM)


socalclimber


Sep 17, 2010, 8:53 AM
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funnelator wrote:
And also "the guy" has very very extensive experience, as does the belayer. If it can happen to them it can happen to anyone. Overconfidence stalks us all perhaps.

As the OP said and as SoCal says, close the system. As for me, I didn't routinely do so, but after a few conversations with Scott Cosgrove about guides and friends he knew who had dropped people, I changed my ways. Indeed, just a few years ago, in another accident close to home, a long experience guide did drop someone resulting in the client breaking a leg.

Wishing both "the guy" and his belayer a very speedy and full recovery.

If the client breaking a leg episode was the one down here, I remember it very well. Glad I wasn't the guide.


mim


Sep 17, 2010, 1:55 PM
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Re: [socalclimber] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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I am the belayer who saw my beloved hit the rock several times and end up unconscious on the ground, with blood everywhere. This is not an event I wish to anyone - ever.

In my original post that was reposted here, I could have stated the five or six different reasons that would have explained the circumstances of why we, two climbers who have over 50 years of combined climbing experience, suffered such a lapse in safety for this completely preventable accident... but at the end of the day, it really doesn't matter, as the accident happened, and a knot would have saved him from this accident.

Closing the system is just a sound safety measure, regardless of how or what or where you are climbing - it is a habit I wished I had... and will have from now on.


socalclimber


Sep 17, 2010, 2:52 PM
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mim wrote:
I am the belayer who saw my beloved hit the rock several times and end up unconscious on the ground, with blood everywhere. This is not an event I wish to anyone - ever.

In my original post that was reposted here, I could have stated the five or six different reasons that would have explained the circumstances of why we, two climbers who have over 50 years of combined climbing experience, suffered such a lapse in safety for this completely preventable accident... but at the end of the day, it really doesn't matter, as the accident happened, and a knot would have saved him from this accident.

Closing the system is just a sound safety measure, regardless of how or what or where you are climbing - it is a habit I wished I had... and will have from now on.

Hi mim, thanks for posting and also thanks for the honest first hand account up front on the accident. Glad to hear your partner is on the mend. Hopefully you will be over time as well. Most people forget or don't realize that there is usually more than one victim in serious accidents. One does not need to be physically injured to suffer.

One of the things that profoundly changed my approach to climbing was the time I spent on a technical SAR team, loading people into choppers and doing accident analysis.

All the best to you and your partner.


(This post was edited by socalclimber on Sep 17, 2010, 2:54 PM)


viciado


Sep 20, 2010, 3:41 AM
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Thank you for your graphic and honest reminder that we have to put into practice what we already know.

Whether we choose to tie in or verify that there is enough rope to complete the climb and lower (per jt512 and jung et al), we have to make a conscious application of that decision. We all have our excuses (when we make mistakes) but all the knowledge and experience in the world is useless once the rope leaves the belay device.

I hope that reading your story will help many people be more intentional in applying what they know.


Partner j_ung


Sep 20, 2010, 3:20 PM
Post #125 of 125 (3722 views)
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Registered: Nov 21, 2003
Posts: 18689

Re: [marc801] Accident while lowering at City of Rocks [In reply to]
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marc801 wrote:
j_ung wrote:
I don't believe I do have bad habits.
Says everyone prior to them or their partner getting seriously injured or killed.

I was speaking, of course, about that one specific habit, and I'll stand by what I wrote.

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