Everest Base Camp Trek

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Overview:

Testing your limits, Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the most adventurous and enthralling Treks of the world. It is one of the classic Himalayan Trek that takes you from Kathmandu to a breathtaking height of 5545 meters above sea level. Your adventure starts from Kathmandu to the snow clad Himalayas of the Everest region. Giving you a taste of culture and tradition, a day spent in the bustling exotic city of Kathmandu amongst stunning world heritage sites. The next morning starts with a short flight from Kathmandu to Lukla airport, which starts the twelve days walking in breathtaking scenery. Acclimatizing and trekking Kala Patthar (meaning ‘black rock’) gives you the taste of toughness and human endurance. At base camp you will get to share in the excitement of being at the starting point of most expeditions attempting to climb the world’s highest mountain.

This trip highlights:

  • Flight to Lukla, and the unforgettable landing approach
  • The views from Kala Patthar (5545meters) of Everest, the Khumbu icefall and glacier, and the panorama of surrounding Himalayan peaks
  • Visiting Everest Base Camp and mingling with expedition members
  • Visiting the sacred Tengboche monastery
  • Sightseeing in Kathmandu at extraordinary world heritage sites
  • Sherpa Culture and tasty local cuisine
  • Camp life on a trek

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Itinerary:

Day 1
Drive from TIA to Hotel Shanker by a/c car
Overnight at Hotel Shanker

You will be received by our welcoming staff at the airport when you step out in the arrivals area and be taken away in a comfortable coach to our hotel, a 30 minute ride. The hotel, Shanker, is located close to the tourist area of Kathmandu, and after check in formalities, you will be free to explore the area till our pre-trek briefing at 5pm at the hotel. During the briefing we will give you general orientation information, tell you what to expect on the trip, go over packing arrangements and answer any last minute queries you may have. We will also distribute your kit bag, sleeping bag and down/fiberfill jacket. Evening drinks and snacks will be served at the restaurant at our hotel from 6:30 pm until 7:15pm, and you will get the opportunity to meet your guides and fellow group members.

Day 2
Full day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu city
Overnight at Hotel Shanker

This is a free day, and as Kathmandu has more World Heritage sites than any other city in the world; in the first half of the morning we will take you to visit two of the most well known ones. The first, Pashupatinath, is an ancient temple complex sacred to the Hindu faith and the second, Boudhanath, is a magnificent Buddhist stupa dating from the 5th century AD, and an oasis of Buddhist calm. We return to our hotel around lunch time, and in the afternoon you may wish to explore the bustling Durbar Square (Durbar means palace), the home of erstwhile kings of Nepal. Another popular destination is the “monkey temple” or Swayambhunath – called the monkey temple for reasons that become obvious once you reach its periphery. Evenings are free for you to spend shopping or just wandering around the fascinating lanes and alleyways around the hotel. Get an early night as it’s an early day tomorrow.

Day 3
Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla
Trek to Phakding

Breakfast by 7am, we leave by 8am for the 25 minute flight to the airport and then a spectacular, and latterly hair raising, 35 minute flight to the mountain side airstrip at Lukla. The flight, undertaken usually on slightly rickety but eminently airworthy 18 seat Twin otter or Dornier aircrafts, affords one great views of the Eastern Himalayas, and for the first time many will get to understand the magnitude and ruggedness of the Himalayas. Once we land at Lukla, we all first breathe a collective sigh of relief, and emerge in thin mountain air where soon we will be met by our crew. Once we have gear sorted and porters loaded, we head downhill towards the Dudh Kosi, and take a meandering and relatively easy trek down the hill to our overnight stop at our campsite at Phakding. When you arrive, as in all remaining camp nights, you will find the tents set up, mattresses and sleeping bags in your tent, and probably a cheerful kitchen staff member offering you hot chocolate/tea or coffee!

Day 4
Trek to Namche Bazar

Today we cross and the Dudh Kosi (milk(y) river) several times and many sections of the walk are through old pine forest and cleared areas of terraced fields with crops. We often pass Himalayan trains composed of small groups of donkeys and yaks carrying trading goods, supplies and trekking gear along the trail. Spectacular mountain peaks unfold above us and the peak of Kusum Kangru (6369 m) can be seen to the East, at the head of the valley. Further along the trail, we see Kongde Ri (6093 m) and at the turn of the trail, Thamserku (6808 m) rises into the sky. We follow the river to the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and the Bhote Kosi river, and cross a spectacular high bridge before commencing our ascent to the village of Namche Bazaar. It is a steady ascent and the trail passes through forest of pine where at one point, you will get your first view of Mt Everest. The trail continues to climb and meander to Namche, a prosperous village spread within a horse-shoe shaped valley opposite the beautiful peak of Kongde Ri. We will arrive into town late afternoon after lunch and check into our lodge and rest. Dinner will be served at in the dining room around 7pm, but you are free to wander around town before that.

Day 5
Rest day at Namche Bazzar

Namche is the main town of the Everestregion and you will find everything from bars and bakeries to pool hall and internet cafes. This is a rest and acclimatization day and you can spend it relaxing in your lodge, or visit the exhibits at Sagarmartha (Everest) National Park Headquarters where you will find displays of photographs, memorabilia and information on the park. Another option is to take a 4-5 hour round trip to Everest View Hotel from where views of Everest and Ama Dablam may be seen. There is also the option of a day hike to the pretty village of Khumjung where Sir Edmund Hillary built his “Schoolhouse in the Clouds” and the famed Khunde hospital is close by. This day is a rest day to help with the acclimatization process, key to having a safe and comfortable trip. We are now at a height of 3400 meters and most people not used to being at this altitude will require this rest day to allow their bodies to get used to the altitude. Namche is an ideal stop as it offer rugged views but also has all the comfort of ‘civilization’ to make your stay comfortable.

Day 6
Trek to Deboche

The walk to Deboche is pretty spectacular and we begin the day with a steady climb that levells out a bit where Ama Dablam peak comes into view. The trail meanders around steep ridges, and Everest can be clearly seen on the horizon ahead before we descend through splendid rhododendron forests and get to our lunch stop by the river. After lunch we cross the river Dudh Kosi and begin the ascent to the top of a long ridge which flows from the summit of Kantega peak. Gaining the ridgeline we pass through a traditional gateway and around a chorten (a kind of Buddhist pagoda) before cresting the ridge onto a wide grassy meadow at the monastery village of Thyangboche. You will have time to explore the monastery, enjoy views of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam, before we head downhill to our campsite at Deboche. This evening we will spend the night in tents in the shadows of the Himalayas.

Day 7
Trek from Deboche to Dingboche

In the morning we begin a steady ascent surrounded by stunning views of Everest, Lhotse, Kantega, Thamserku, Ama Dablam and Nuptse. We will cross the Imja Khola and start an easy climb along a wide trail to the small village of Pangboche (4000m). We may take a slight detour to visit the Pangboche Gompa – the oldest monastery (around 300 years old) in the Khumbu Region. We cross the river again and then gradually trek up to Dingboche, a small settlement situated high on the northern banks of Imja Tse river. Across are spectacular views of Ama Dablam and up the valley is the last settlement of Chukkung. Imja Tse is also known as island peak, a popular trekking peak in the region. We spend the night under in tents, under clear Himalayan skies.

Day 8
Rest day at Dingboche

An acclimatization/rest day, today you have the option of hiking high up to the ridge overlooking Dingboche, or up to Chukung Village and on to Chukkung Ri, a high ridge with excellent views of Nuptse, Lhotse and Imja Tse (6189m). Both options offer spectacular panoramic views of surrounding Himalayan peaks, but the former is a half day trip while the latter takes most of the day. Alternatively, you could spend the rest day reading a book and getting used to the thin air here at 4100 meters!

Day 9
Trek to Lobuje

We are gaining altitude again today and it is important that we move at a slow, steady pace and hydrate as much as we can. The slopes are quite barren now as we move above the tree line, and views of different peaks, such as Cholatse and Lobuche, unfold before us. We move up the Dhugla Ridge and onto terminal moraine from the mighty Khumbu Glacier. The climb past Dhukla levels out somewhat as we walk a trail that follows terminal moraine up the valley, and we reach our campsite at Lobuche. On trail today we get great views of Pumori and Nuptse and the hill above the Lobuche affords great sunset views of Nuptse. Tonight we will spend the night in a lodge, for the many it will be the highest altitude they may have slept at!

Day 10
Trek to Gorak Shep
Trek to Everest Base Camp
Trek from Everest Base Camp to Gorak Shep

Today we visit Everest Base camp! The walk is a steady climb with only short sections that are steep as we trek alongside the Khumbu Glacier on a path that winds over the rocky moraine towards the settlement of Gorak Shep. At Gorak Shep we will have an early lunch and catch our breath a little. This will also be our camp for the evening. After lunch we continue our trek to Everest Base Camp where we will get to almost be a part of the excitement of the legendary Everest expeditions. This is often described as the highlight of this trek, getting to meet and mingle with expedition members, steeled to conquer the highest point on earth! We cannot stay here though, and in the afternoon, we head back to our camp at Gorakh Shep, a 2.5 hour walk back. Overnight at lodge.

Day 11
Trek to Kala Pattar
Trek from Kala Pattar to Gorak Shep
Trek from Gorka Shep to Lobuje
Trek from Lobuje to Pheriche

Just beside and above Gorakh Shep is viewpoint that will be our goal today. Kala Pattar, meaning “black rock” in the Hindi Language, offers spectacular views – but only once you complete the 2 hour walk uphill from our campsite! It’s usually an early start to here, and a cold walk up, but the views make it worthwhile. Views include Everest and its rocky buttresses immediately before us and the infamous Khumbu Icefall. Many of the ascent routes up Everest are quite clear and below us the Khumbu Glacier snakes towards the icefall and Western Cwm. The view south and our route out, is particularly beautiful. Later in the afternoon, we begin the return trek to our camp at Phericeh, passing on the way the small settlement at Dhugla. Our path on an old lateral moraine takes us to the sheltered village of Pheriche and our camp. This afternoon we can walk up the ridge behind Pheriche for sunset views of Nuptse, Lhotse and Chhukung Peak.

Day 12
Trek to Phortse

There can be a tendency now to rush, particularly as we are walking downhill, but there is still much to see. We may descend to Pangboche and visit its historic old monastery if we have time, and continue on to our camp at Phortse for the night. The mood now is celebratory as the most difficult part of trek is over, and now it’s relatively easy going. Most of us will notice the pleasures of having more air to breathe as we descend to lower altitudes. Overnight in tented camp.

Day 13
Trek to Monjo

From Phortse we leave in the morning after breakfast and if the weather is clear, the mountain views from Thyangboche monastery as we pass through in the morning are outstanding – Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse are at the head of the valley, their line of sight flanked by Taweche on one side and Ama Dablam on the other. Almost directly above us are Kantega and Thamserku. Completing a 360 degree panorama of mountains are Khumblia and Kongde Ri which encircle us from across the valley. It’s a pleasant walk down to Namche, where we stop briefly, before descending to our overnight lodge in Monjo.

Day 14
Trek from Monzo to Lukla

Leaving Monjo this morning we head for our last camp on trek back to Lukla. We descend through the forest towards the Dudh Kosi, and continue our return journey crossing and re-crossing the river. We begin a steady ascent from Phakding and by early afternoon we should have reached our campsite at Lukla. Here we spend the last night on trail and it’s usually time to have a party of sorts. Most porters will return to their villages or head off on other expeditions tomorrow so it’s a good time to show our appreciation for their services. There is usually lots of music, dancing and singing and often, a cake is baked by our creative chefs to celebrate the end of a great trip. Overnight in lodges.

Day 15
Fly from Lukla to Kathmandu
Overnight at Hotel Shanker

This morning we fly back to Kathmandu, a thrilling flight over forests, fields and villages, with the Himalaya in the background. On arrival, we transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 16
Free day in Kathmandu
Overnight at Hotel Shanker

A free day in Kathmandu to rest and explore. In the evening the group will meet for a farewell dinner.

Day 17
Drive from Hotel Shanker to TIA by a/c car

After breakfast arrangements cease unless further ones have been made. Those people departing by aircraft will be transferred to the airport and assisted with check-in procedures.

What’s Included?

  • 16 hearty breakfasts, 14 satisfying lunches and 14 memorable dinners!
  • Airport transfers, from and to
  • Flights Kathmandu/Lukla/Kathmandu
  • Expert bilingual guide and group medical kit
  • Good quality accommodation in Kathmandu
  • Trek pack including down sleeping bag, down or fiber filled jacket, and insulated mat
  • All park entrance fees and trekking permits
  • Porters to carry all personal and group equipment and porter’s insurance
  • Sightseeing and site entry fees in Kathmandu

What’s Not Included?

  • Lunch & dinner in Kathmandu
  • Bottled water, aerated & alcoholic drinks
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc
  • Tips
  • International flights
  • Airport and departure taxes
  • Visa
  • Travel Insurance

Note: Everest National park fee and TIMS ($60 for 2 persons)

Trip Notes:
A typical day: Generally, on camping trips, you will be woken up between 6-7 am with a cup of tea and bowl of hot water for washing. You wash and get ready, and before breakfast pack your gear into your kitbag which will be carried by a porter. You will get your kitbag in the afternoon when we reach camp. Breakfast will be outdoors or in the dining tent, and after breakfast you walk for 2, 3 hours. Lunch is generally served at 11 am on trail. You will get about an hour’s break during lunch when you can rest, write a diary, talk or do anything you like. After lunch, we walk for 2 to 3 hours and reach to camp late afternoon. All tents and gear are already set up by the time you arrive, and you are greeted at camp with tea and snacks. Stow your gear in your tent where your kit bag will also be waiting, and freshen up before dinner, again served in the dining tent. On teahouse treks, it’s pretty much the same routine but you have rooms to sleep in, a dining room to eat in (often with food you can order of the menu) and proper toilets with running water and showers. Lunch on teahouse treks are on lodges on the way.

Accommodation: Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, has all kinds of hotels to offer visitors – from five star hotels with good facilities and air conditioned rooms to small guesthouses with average rooms and basic facilities. Visitors can choose what they like on the basis of their budget.  On ‘tea house’ treks, we use lodges which though comfortable, may be basic compared to European standards.  Most lodges on trek offer wholesome food, comfortable to basic rooms and common hot showers and toilets. Some use solar water heaters but these are entirely dependent on fine weather, so you cannot always rely on them. Meals are served in a common dining hall. On camping trips, we will have our own chosen campsites, often on private campsites with showers rooms and toilets, but also often we stay in wilderness, which consist of a dining tent, kitchen tent, toilet tent and two person tents for sleeping.

Meals: The menu varies daily and in teahouse treks you can choose food from the lodge menu, while on camping trips, the kitchen turns out comprehensive meals 3 times a day, besides tea and afternoon. Beside included meals, guests need to pay for packaged and alcoholic drinks they may purchase, as well as for souvenirs, laundry, optional sightseeing. The prices of meal and drinks may be different in different locations.

Money: All meals and accommodation are covered by within trip cost, but you carry spending money while on trek to take care of purchases you may make on journey. About 4000 Nepali Rupees per person per day should be adequate in most cases. There are no ATM’s on most treks, the only ATM’s are in Kathmandu city or in larger towns or cities, so it’s best to carry cash on trek.  It is recommended you use a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of cash and other valuable items, and though our staffs are trustworthy, the ultimate responsibility for safekeeping of money rests with the guest. American dollars and Indian rupee are easily accepted in most of the places and all major banks of Nepal and licensed money exchangers can exchange hard currencies into Nepali rupee. Indian 500 and 1,000 rupee notes are not accepted in Nepal.  Credit cards are not accepted by all businesses, restaurants, or hotels, and you should check with your guide about where you may or may not use them. Traveler’s cheque, visa card, master card and other international cards are easily accepted in Kathmandu but may not be accepted while on trek.

Flights: The delay and cancellation of flights are not uncommon because of unfavorable weather or other technical problems. This delay and cancellation may be of a few hours or a couple of days. All accommodation and food are managed for you by the trekking tour managing group in case of flights delay or cancellation, except in extreme cases. You will however be liable for costs arising from delay of flight. In case of flights being delayed from remote airstrips due weather or technical difficulties, most itineraries have a spare day built in to absorb such delay. Longer delays may make require helicopter evacuation necessary, but such delays can usually be claimed through travel insurance.

High Altitude Sickness: Guests may suffer from altitude sickness if they travel rapidly to elevations above 3,000 meters. Most itineraries are however geared to make a reasonable ascent minimizing altitude sickness possibilities.  Typical symptoms of altitude sickness are persistent headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, disorientation and loss of balance, persistent cough and difficulty in breathing.  The immediate and best solution for acute mountain sickness is descent to lower altitude. In the absence of such an option, a medical evacuation by helicopter may be necessary or if possible, the use of a Hyperbaric chamber (Gamov bag).  Our guides and tour leaders will be monitoring group health on all treks that take us to altitude, and though not common, it is sometimes necessary to take clients off trek and descend to lower altitudes for their safety. For more information on altitude sickness, please visit (provide link to detailed info on site). The tour leaders can exclude anyone if they feel that the very person is not fit, healthy and is not able to complete the tour.

Weather: The climate may be freezing or very low which may drop to -20 degree Celsius during the evening, night and early morning. The daytime temperatures may be generally between 20- 35 degree Celsius. The weather can change and snow fall may occur at any time at higher altitudes.

Tips: The culture of giving tip is not new in Nepal. A tip is generally given at an end of journey in appreciation of the services you receive. Visitors themselves should decide how much money they want to give as tips to porter, guide or team leader. Tour leaders may also organize a group’s tips kitty and at an end of journey you need to give tip to the tour leaders. Besides tips, visitors can help the porters by giving them mountain clothing and other useful items like water and wind resistant jackets, pants, warm hats, gloves, sunglasses, spare kit etc.

Visa information: Travelers can apply for Nepalese visa from Nepalese embassy or consulate office situated nearby. They can also get a visa from Tribhuvan International Airport or from any other entry point in Nepal if they have no time to visit an embassy, or are not travelling from their home country. Visitors should have a few sets of photos, a passport, and required money to apply for visa. Indians nationals do not need a visa to come to Nepal everyone else needs a visa to enter Nepal.

Note: All visas sold on arrival are multiple entry visas and are available to cover 3 different durations of visit: US$25 for 15 days, US$40 for 30 days, and US$100 for 90 days. Please ensure you purchase the duration sufficient to cover your whole visit including days of entry and exit. Please do note that these durations refer to each country into Nepal e.g. 15 days for each entry.

Visa extensions: Visitors can extend their visas from the immigration offices of Kathmandu and Pokhara only. They need to pay US $30 for 15 days extension, US $ 5 per day after 15 days and US$50 for multiple- entry visa. If visitors overstay then they need to pay a fine of US$3 per day if they overstay less than 30 days (plus a US$2 per day visa extension fee).

Health and travel insurance: Visitors should visit their personal physician or health clinic 4 or 8 weeks before coming to Nepal and vaccinate themselves. Travel and medical insurance is a must, and should include coverage for   emergency flights and medical expenses.

Vaccination: Visitors must visit their personal physician or health clinic 4 or 8 weeks before coming to Nepal and vaccinate themselves though vaccination is not compulsory. However vaccinations are recommended for the protection.

Note: Some vaccinations are prohibited for the pregnant women and people with allergies.

  • Hepatitis A: The vaccination of Hepatitis A is recommended for all visitors which provide long-term immunity.
  • Hepatitis B: This vaccination too is advised to all travelers. Three intramuscular doses are given in 0, 1 and 6 months.
  • Influenza: This vaccination is given annually to prevent flu.
  • Japanese B encephalitis (JBE): JBE vaccination is given three times over 3 to 4 weeks which avoids mosquito- borne vital encephalitis. Generally it is recommended for the travelers who travel to the Terai and other rural areas.
  • Meningococcal meningitis:  This vaccination is recommended for the prolonged stays.
  • Polio: Polio is generally given in childhood. But if visitors have not taken it at their childhood then it is recommended vaccination for them.
  • Rabies: Rabies is especially transmitted by street dogs and monkeys. It is strictly recommended for children and other visitors who are at the high risk of animal bites or direct contact with bats.
  • Tuberculosis (TB): Most people of the west are given this vaccination in their childhood. But if they are not vaccinated, it is suggested vaccination for them.
  • Typhoid: Typhoid vaccine is available as an injection and capsules which is recommended for all visitors because Typhoid fever is growing problem of Nepal.
  • Yellow fever: The travelers who come from Africa, America and other yellow fever infected area should take vaccine for yellow fever.
  • Tetanus diphtheria: Tetanus or diphtheria vaccine should be taken in every 10 years.
  • Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR): This vaccination is recommended for all the travelers born after 1956 but not for pregnant women or severely immune compromised individuals.
  • Cholera: Cholera is spread because of polluted drinking water. It is only recommended for the high-risk individuals like health travelers and people who travel to remote areas.

Packing tips:

  • Warm clothes for cold weather, including a set or two of thermal inner wear.
  • Water and wind proof outer shell jacket and pants.
  • Walking clothes like lightweight loose trousers, shorts and comfortable and cool shirts.
  • Rain ponchos, wool socks, broken in walking boots, long trousers, warm hats, gloves, bandana, trekking poles, cap/hat for walking in the sun
  • Sleeping bags if you have them.
  • Travelers wearing lenses should carry plenty of lenses solution and backup prescription glasses.
  • Sunglasses or ski glasses if walking in snow or high altitudes.
  • Basic first aid kit and personal medication.
  • Sunscreen and sun hat help from sun
  • Water purifiers like iodine tablets, filters etc.
  • Headlamps with spare batteries.
  • Hand sanitizers.
  • Photocopies of passports and other important documents
  • A travel guide book and map.
  • Cameras and carrying cases
  • For a comprehensive packing list, see (link to site on trekking FAQ).

FAQs:

On trek in Nepal, is there enough drinking water available?
Teahouse treks will have bottled water available, and often boiled water and filtered water is also available. On camping trips, boiled water is provided to guests 2 to 3 times a day to fill your water bottles. If you have water filters or water purifying tablets or filters, it is recommended you use them. The supply of water is rarely a problem on most treks, it is however prudent to ensure the water you drink is treated in way or another to ensure against water borne diseases. Bottled water is generally safe to drink, but it does generate empty plastic bottles, so it is better to carry your own water bottle, and fill up on treated water along the way.

Any good tips for eating out in Kathmandu?
For places to eat please look at our site (link to “Places to Eat” part of site)

Is there anywhere to store luggage while on trek?
Most hotels will store guest luggage while they ate out on trek. This service is normally free of charge.

Do I need to take walking poles?
Carrying walking poles is entirely a personal choice but not a requirement as such for trekking. Walking poles can help a lot while going downhill or across rough trail or snow, but again, many do just as well without. If you are habituated in its use, then it can be very useful, if not, you probably won’t miss them.

What distance do we walk each day?
The distance of each day depends on gradient, terrain and altitude. For instance, you can walk seven miles in 5 hours on the one day and you can walk just 3 miles in 5 hours next day because of the gradient and quality of path. Generally you walk five six hours in a day -  that is two to three hours before lunch, and another two to three after lunch.

On a lodge or teahouse trek, how much spending money should I allow?
Spending money always depends on you. Your food and accommodation are covered in trip cost, so all you will spend on are drinks, souvenirs, snacks.  About 3 to 4 thousand a day should be more than adequate, even if you are a habitual beer drinker!

Can you recharge camera batteries?
Recharging options are available in lodges in most popular teahouse trekking routes. They generally charge about 2 US dollars for an hour recharge. On camping trips and trips to less populated trekking routes, electricity supply may not be available. Please check with your guide on information specific to your trek.

Should I get my Nepalese visa in advance or at the airport?
The choice is yours. If you want to avoid queuing then you should get your visa in advance.  You can get your visa from Tribhuvan International Airport on arrival, but may have to queue for a bit.

Where can I find more details about the lodges we stay in on Nepalese treks?
Please visit our site for the details of lodges, hotels and guesthouses (Link to pages listing accommodation on trek)

Can I buy any equipment in Kathmandu before the start of the trip?
Visitors can buy almost any trekking equipment in Kathmandu, especially Thamel, with shops offering all manner of gear. If you are good at bargaining then it is definitely a plus point while shopping in Nepal.

 

Everest Base Camp Trek
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