Climbing Huayna Potosí – Which route?

Conquer Huayna Potosí with confidence! Discover the best routes for an unforgettable climb & tips for selecting your path to the summit.

“The best view comes after the hardest climb.” – Unknown

Welcome to the thrilling world of mountaineering, where conquering the towering peaks of the world becomes the ultimate test of strength, endurance, and determination. If you’re an adventurous soul seeking the thrill of scaling great heights, then climbing Huayna Potosí in Bolivia should be on your list of must-do adventures. With its majestic beauty and challenging terrain, Huayna Potosí offers an unforgettable experience for both seasoned climbers and those embarking on their first high-altitude expedition.

Located in the Cordillera Real mountain range, Huayna Potosí stands tall as the most popular climb in Bolivia. But with multiple routes to choose from, it’s essential to find the one that suits your experience level and preferences. In this article, we’ll dive into the different options available and guide you towards selecting the best route for your Huayna Potosí adventure.

Key Takeaways:

  • Choosing the right route is crucial for a successful climb on Huayna Potosí.
  • Consider your experience level and preferences when selecting a route.
  • Huayna Potosí offers both challenging and beginner-friendly routes.
  • Prepare yourself physically and mentally for the demanding climb.
  • Pack the necessary gear and clothing suitable for extreme weather conditions.

The Main Routes to Climbing Huayna Potosí

When it comes to climbing Huayna Potosí, there are two main routes that adventurers can choose from: the Normal Route and the French Route. Each route offers its own unique challenges and rewards, making it essential to choose the one that best fits your skill level and preferences.

The Normal Route

The Normal Route is the most popular and commonly chosen route for climbers tackling Huayna Potosí. It is known for its accessibility and is suitable for beginners who have basic mountaineering skills. This route follows a well-established path and does not require advanced technical climbing techniques. The Normal Route provides climbers with incredible views of the surrounding landscapes and offers a gradual ascent towards the summit.

The French Route

For more experienced climbers seeking a challenge, the French Route is the way to go. This route is known for being more technical and demanding, requiring advanced mountaineering skills and experience with glacier travel. The French Route involves steeper sections and requires climbers to navigate crevasses and steep ice. While it presents greater difficulties, the French Route offers a thrilling and exhilarating experience, rewarding climbers with extraordinary views and a true sense of accomplishment.

“The Normal Route is like a beginner’s hike with incredible vistas, while the French Route is the ultimate test of skill and stamina. Both options guarantee an unforgettable adventure on Huayna Potosí.”

To help you decide which route to choose, consider your climbing experience and comfort level with technical mountaineering. If you are a beginner or prefer a less challenging ascent, the Normal Route is the best choice. However, if you are an experienced climber seeking a more demanding and thrilling endeavor, the French Route will provide the challenge you are looking for. Whichever route you choose, both will lead you to the summit of Huayna Potosí, where you will be rewarded with breathtaking vistas and a profound sense of accomplishment.

Huayna Potosí Difficulty and Preparation

Climbing Huayna Potosí is a challenging endeavor that requires physical fitness, proper training, and acclimatization to high altitude. To ensure a successful climb, it is important to follow expert advice and prepare adequately. Here are some tips to help you overcome the difficulties and make the most out of your Huayna Potosí climbing experience:

Training and Physical Fitness

Prior to the climb, it is recommended to engage in a few months of training to improve your strength and endurance. Incorporate cardio exercises, such as running or cycling, to enhance your cardiovascular fitness. Additionally, include strength training exercises, like squats and lunges, to build the necessary leg and core strength for the climb.


Spending a few days in La Paz, Bolivia, before the climb is crucial for acclimatization. This allows your body to adjust to the high altitude and reduce the risk of altitude sickness. Take it easy during the initial days, drink plenty of water, and avoid excessive physical exertion.

Gear and Clothing

Packing the right gear is essential for a comfortable and safe climb. Make sure to bring suitable clothing for extreme cold weather conditions, including thermal layers, down jacket, hats, gloves, and insulated pants. Don’t forget to pack appropriate footwear, such as sturdy mountaineering boots, crampons, and gaiters, to navigate the icy terrain.

“Climbing Huayna Potosí is a test of physical and mental strength, but with proper preparation and an adventurous spirit, you can conquer this magnificent peak.” – Expert Climber

By following these tips and adequately preparing, you can enhance your chances of successfully climbing Huayna Potosí and create lifelong memories of this incredible adventure.

Best Season and Weather for Climbing Huayna Potosí

When planning a climb to Huayna Potosí, it is crucial to consider the best season and weather conditions for a safe and enjoyable experience. The weather in the region can be unpredictable, so choosing the right time is essential to ensure a successful summit.

The best season for climbing Huayna Potosí is during the dry months, which span from April to November. During this time, the weather is generally more stable, with lower chances of rain and clearer skies. These favorable conditions provide climbers with better visibility and increased chances of reaching the summit.

However, it is important to note that even during the dry season, the temperatures at higher altitudes can drop significantly. Climbers should be prepared for extreme cold, with temperatures reaching as low as -20°C. It is crucial to pack appropriate clothing and gear to withstand the freezing temperatures and ensure comfort and safety throughout the climb.

By choosing the best season and being prepared for the weather conditions, climbers can enhance their chances of a successful and rewarding experience on Huayna Potosí.

Accommodation Options During the Huayna Potosí Trek

When embarking on the Huayna Potosí trek, climbers will need a place to rest and recharge after a long day of hiking. Fortunately, there are accommodation options available to provide climbers with a comfortable overnight stay. The Huayna Potosí refuges are the primary choice for climbers in search of basic accommodations amidst the stunning mountain landscape.

The Huayna Potosí refuges offer dormitory-style rooms with bunk beds, providing climbers with a place to rest and rejuvenate before continuing their journey. While the accommodations are simple, they are sufficient for a comfortable overnight stay. It is important to note that the refuges do not provide sleeping bags, so climbers will need to bring their own. Packing a warm and comfortable sleeping bag will ensure a good night’s sleep in the mountainous terrain.

“The Huayna Potosí refuges provide climbers with a cozy place to rest and prepare for the next day’s adventure. While the accommodations may be simple, the experience of staying overnight in these refuges adds to the overall charm and authenticity of the Huayna Potosí trek.” – Experienced Climber

The refuges also offer communal spaces where climbers can socialize and interact with fellow trekkers, creating a sense of camaraderie and shared experiences. These spaces provide an opportunity to exchange stories and tips, fostering a vibrant community of climbers on their quest to conquer Huayna Potosí.

Overall, staying at the Huayna Potosí refuges is a convenient and practical choice for accommodation during the trek. While the focus is on simplicity and functionality, climbers can expect a warm and welcoming atmosphere that adds to the overall experience of climbing this iconic mountain.

Accommodation OptionsFacilities
Huayna Potosí Refuges
  • Dormitory-style rooms
  • Bunk beds
  • Communal spaces
Personal Sleeping Bags
  • Bring your own
  • Ensure warmth and comfort

Trekking Itinerary for Climbing Huayna Potosí

The trekking itinerary for climbing Huayna Potosí typically spans over 3 days, offering an exciting and challenging adventure. Here’s a breakdown of the itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival and Basic Mountaineering Training

On the first day, climbers will arrive in La Paz and be transported to the base camp of Huayna Potosí. After settling in, a training session on basic mountaineering techniques will be conducted. This training is essential to familiarize climbers with the equipment, safety procedures, and necessary skills needed for the ascent.

Day 2: Hike to High Camp and Rest

The second day involves a hike from the base camp to the high camp, located at a higher elevation. This hike serves as an acclimatization phase and allows climbers to adjust to the altitude. Once at the high camp, climbers can rest, rehydrate, and mentally prepare themselves for the summit climb the next day.

Day 3: Summit Climb

On the third and final day, climbers will start their ascent to the summit of Huayna Potosí in the early morning hours. The climb may be physically demanding, but the stunning views and sense of accomplishment make it all worthwhile. Experienced guides will provide support and guidance throughout the climb, ensuring climbers maintain a suitable pace and take necessary rest breaks. Reaching the summit is a significant achievement and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountain ranges.

It is important to note that the itinerary may vary based on weather conditions, group dynamics, and the recommendations of experienced guides. Flexibility and adaptability are key to a successful and enjoyable climbing experience.

Tips for a Successful Trekking Itinerary

  • Train and prepare your physical fitness before the climb to build endurance and strength.
  • Stay hydrated and eat nutritious meals to sustain energy levels during the trek.
  • Follow the guidance of experienced guides and prioritize safety at all times.
  • Pack appropriate clothing for varying weather conditions, including layers for warmth and waterproof gear.
  • Take breaks and listen to your body’s signals to prevent altitude sickness or other discomfort.
  • Stay positive, embrace the challenge, and enjoy the remarkable beauty of the Huayna Potosí climb.

Combined Itinerary – Condoriri to Huayna Potosí

For those seeking a longer and more challenging trek, there is the option to combine the Condoriri trek with the Huayna Potosí climb. This combined itinerary allows climbers to experience the beauty of both mountains in one trip. The trek to Condoriri serves as a warm-up for the Huayna Potosí climb, offering an opportunity to acclimate to the high altitude and improve fitness levels.

Starting with the Condoriri trek allows climbers to gradually adapt to the altitude and experience the stunning landscapes of the Condoriri Massif. This mountain range is known for its jagged peaks and pristine lakes, creating a breathtaking backdrop for your trek.

After a few days of trekking through this scenic region, you will be well-prepared to take on the challenge of Huayna Potosí. The climb to Huayna Potosí offers a thrilling and unforgettable experience, with its steep slopes, icy glaciers, and stunning panoramic views.

By combining these two treks, you can make the most of your time in Bolivia and enjoy a diverse range of landscapes and challenges. It is important to note that this combined itinerary requires a higher level of fitness and previous trekking experience.

Condoriri to Huayna Potosí Combined Itinerary

Day 1Arrival in La Paz
Day 2-4Condoriri Trek
Day 5Rest day in La Paz
Day 6-7Huayna Potosí Climb
Day 8Departure from La Paz

This itinerary allows for ample time to acclimate to the altitude and properly prepare for the Huayna Potosí climb. The Condoriri trek serves as a valuable warm-up, helping you adjust to the demanding conditions and develop the necessary skills and stamina.

During the Condoriri trek, you will have the opportunity to hike through stunning valleys, cross high mountain passes, and camp near turquoise lakes. The awe-inspiring beauty of the Condoriri Massif will leave you mesmerized and ready to tackle the challenges ahead.

After completing the Condoriri trek, you will have a rest day in La Paz to recover and recharge. This day can also be used to finalize any last-minute preparations and gather your gear for the Huayna Potosí climb.

When ready, you will embark on the Huayna Potosí climb, guided by experienced mountaineers who will ensure your safety and provide valuable insights along the way. The summit of Huayna Potosí offers unparalleled views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, making all the effort worthwhile.

Combining the Condoriri trek with the Huayna Potosí climb is a challenging yet rewarding adventure that will push your limits and leave you with memories to last a lifetime. It is an opportunity to discover the diverse landscapes of Bolivia and experience the thrill of conquering two iconic mountains in one amazing journey.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” – John Muir

Safety Considerations When Climbing Huayna Potosí

Climbing Huayna Potosí is an exhilarating adventure, but it’s important to prioritize safety and be aware of the potential risks involved. Before embarking on this journey, it is crucial to educate yourself about the dangers and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and successful climb.

Altitude Sickness and Acclimatization

One of the most significant risks when climbing Huayna Potosí is altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS). As you ascend to higher altitudes, the decrease in oxygen levels can have adverse effects on the body. Symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and shortness of breath.

“Altitude sickness is a serious condition that should never be taken lightly. It’s vital to acclimate properly and listen to your body. If you experience any symptoms of AMS, it is crucial to communicate them to your guide immediately.”

To prevent AMS, it is essential to acclimate properly by spending a few days in La Paz or other high-altitude locations before starting the climb. This allows your body to adjust gradually and adapt to the lower oxygen levels.

Glacier Hazards and Safety Precautions

When climbing Huayna Potosí, you will encounter glaciers, which can pose certain risks. Crevasses are narrow, deep cracks in the ice that can be hidden or disguised. It is crucial to rope up with your climbing team and follow the safety protocols recommended by your guide.

Additionally, steep sections of the route require extra precautions. It is important to use appropriate climbing techniques, such as using crampons and ice axes, and ensuring proper footing and grip.

Unpredictable Weather Conditions

The weather on Huayna Potosí can be unpredictable and change rapidly. It is essential to keep an eye on weather forecasts and be prepared for various conditions, including extreme cold, strong winds, and snowfall.

Wearing suitable clothing and equipment, such as waterproof and windproof layers, insulated gloves, and a warm hat, is crucial to protect yourself from the elements.

Communication and Guided Support

While climbing Huayna Potosí, it is highly recommended to go with an experienced guide who is knowledgeable about the mountain and its challenges. Guides can provide valuable support, advice, and assistance in navigating the route and managing potential risks.

Communication with your guide and fellow climbers is key. Regularly check in with each other, share any concerns or symptoms, and work together to ensure everyone’s safety.

Remember, safety should always be the top priority when climbing Huayna Potosí. By acclimatizing properly, taking necessary precautions, and relying on expert guidance, you can minimize risks and have a safe and memorable climbing experience.

Huayna Potosí Packing List

A comprehensive packing list is essential for a successful climb of Huayna Potosí. To ensure a safe and comfortable ascent, make sure to pack the following items:

1. Climbing Gear:

  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Helmet
  • Harness
  • Trekking poles

2. Clothing:

  • Waterproof pants
  • Warm, insulated jacket
  • Base layers (thermal tops and bottoms)
  • Fleece or down jacket
  • Gloves and mittens
  • Warm hat
  • Buff or neck gaiter
  • Socks (wool or synthetic)
  • Mountaineering boots

3. Accessories:

  • Sunscreen (SPF 50+)
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Lip balm
  • Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Water bottles or hydration bladder
  • Snacks (energy bars, nuts, dried fruits)
  • High-altitude medication (if prescribed)

4. Miscellaneous:

  • Backpack with rain cover
  • Sleeping bag (rated for below freezing temperatures)
  • Trekking towel
  • Toiletries
  • First aid kit
  • Camera and spare batteries

Remember to pack light and only take the essentials. Heavy backpacks can make the climb more strenuous and increase the risk of fatigue. Be prepared for changing weather conditions, as temperatures can drop significantly at high altitudes.

By following this packing list, you’ll be well-prepared for your Huayna Potosí adventure and able to fully enjoy the breathtaking views and challenging climb.

Tipping Guide and Porters on the Huayna Potosí Trek

When embarking on the Huayna Potosí trek, it is customary to show your appreciation by tipping the guides and porters who accompany you throughout the journey. Tipping is not only a way to acknowledge their hard work and dedication but also a gesture of gratitude for their invaluable assistance in ensuring a safe and successful climb.

The amount of the tip can vary based on several factors, such as the quality of service provided and your overall satisfaction. A general guideline is to tip around 10-15% of the total cost of the tour. However, you may adjust this amount based on your personal experience and budget.

Remember that the porters play a crucial role in carrying the necessary equipment and supplies, making your climb more comfortable and enjoyable. They often work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure a smooth trekking experience. By tipping them, you recognize their hard work and show your gratitude for their contribution to your journey.

“The guides and porters on the Huayna Potosí trek dedicate themselves to making your climb a success. Tipping is a meaningful way to express your appreciation for their efforts and to contribute to the local economy.”

Keep in mind that while tipping is customary and appreciated, it is important to do so with respect and cultural sensitivity. If you have any questions about tipping etiquette or local customs, do not hesitate to ask your guide for guidance.

Showing your gratitude through tipping is a small yet meaningful gesture that can make a significant difference to the lives of those who assist you on the Huayna Potosí trek.

Tipping Guide and Porters on the Huayna Potosí Trek

Benefits of Tipping:

  • Recognition of hard work and dedication
  • Gratitude for assistance and support
  • Contribution to the local economy
  • Motivation for guides and porters
  • Positive impact on the local community

Where to Book the Huayna Potosí Climb

Ready to take on the challenge of climbing Huayna Potosí? Now you might be wondering, where can I book the Huayna Potosi climb? Look no further! There are several reputable mountaineering agencies in La Paz that offer guided tours to this majestic peak. It’s important to choose a company with experienced guides and positive reviews to ensure a safe and enjoyable climb.

When booking your Huayna Potosí climb, it’s always a good idea to compare different options. Prices may vary depending on the package and services included, so take the time to look for the best deal that suits your budget and preferences.

Here are a few key factors to consider when selecting a mountaineering agency:

  • Experience: Look for a company that has a proven track record of successful climbs and knowledgeable guides who prioritize safety.
  • Reviews: Check online reviews and testimonials from previous climbers to get an idea of other climbers’ experiences with the agency.
  • Services: Consider the services provided by the agency, such as transportation, accommodation, meals, and gear rental. Some agencies may offer comprehensive packages that include everything you need for the climb.
  • Flexibility: If you have specific requests or requirements, make sure the agency is flexible and able to accommodate your needs.

Booking directly with a mountaineering agency in La Paz will give you the opportunity to ask questions, get detailed information about the climb, and ensure a personalized experience. Don’t hesitate to reach out and communicate your expectations and concerns.

Remember, climbing Huayna Potosí is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that requires careful planning. By booking with a reputable agency, you can embark on this incredible journey with confidence and peace of mind.

Mountaineering Agencies in La PazContact InformationWebsite
Huayna Potosí
Andean Summit

Huayna Potosí – The Iconic Mountain of Bolivia

Huayna Potosí is an awe-inspiring mountain located in the Cordillera Real mountain range in Bolivia. With its imposing presence and stunning beauty, it has earned the reputation of being one of the most iconic peaks in the country. Known as the “young mountain” due to its distinctiveness and prominence, Huayna Potosí attracts climbers and outdoor enthusiasts from around the world.

Situated near the border with Peru, Huayna Potosí offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Its accessibility from the capital city of La Paz makes it a popular destination for adventure seekers looking to challenge themselves in a stunning natural setting.

Whether you’re an experienced climber or a nature enthusiast seeking a new challenge, Huayna Potosí promises an unforgettable experience. Its towering peaks and rugged terrain provide a scenic backdrop for those looking to test their physical and mental limits.

Join us as we explore the wonders of Huayna Potosí and discover why it captures the hearts of climbers and nature lovers alike.

Huayna Potosí – A Peak with Rich Mountaineering History

Huayna Potosí, one of Bolivia’s most iconic peaks, boasts a fascinating history of mountaineering. The mountain’s first successful ascent was achieved by two German climbers, R. Dients and O. Lohse, in 1919. However, their triumph came after a tragic loss experienced by a previous climbing group.

Prior to this historic achievement, an earlier attempt to conquer Huayna Potosí had resulted in the unfortunate death of all the climbers involved. This tragic event serves as a reminder of the immense challenges and risks that come with mountaineering.

Despite its treacherous reputation, Huayna Potosí continues to attract adventurers from around the world, offering a unique and thrilling experience. The mountain’s rich mountaineering heritage adds an extra layer of fascination and allure, making it a sought-after destination for climbers seeking adventure and a connection with history.

History of climbing Huayna Potosí

Aspiring climbers can now follow in the footsteps of those early pioneers and embark on their own journey to conquer Huayna Potosí, pushing themselves to new heights and capturing the essence of mountaineering. With each ascent, the mountain’s history grows, weaving a narrative of determination, resilience, and the indomitable spirit of human exploration.

Whether you are a seasoned mountaineer or a novice adventurer, conquering Huayna Potosí is a testament to the triumph of the human spirit and a reminder of the awe-inspiring power and beauty of nature.

Huayna Potosí – A Spectacular Climb with Breathtaking Views

Climbing Huayna Potosí offers climbers a unique opportunity to witness breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. From the summit, climbers can enjoy panoramic vistas of the Cordillera Real mountain range, Lake Titicaca, and the Altiplano. The beauty of the scenery is truly awe-inspiring and makes the climb a memorable and rewarding experience.

“The view from the summit of Huayna Potosí is simply magnificent. You are rewarded with a 360-degree panorama of towering peaks, glacial landscapes, and the vastness of Lake Titicaca. It takes your breath away and makes you realize the true beauty and power of nature.” – Maria Martinez, experienced climber

As you ascend Huayna Potosí, every step brings you closer to this natural wonder. The jagged peaks of the Cordillera Real stretch out before you, creating a stunning backdrop against the clear blue sky. The shimmering waters of Lake Titicaca sparkle in the distance, while the vast expanse of the Altiplano unfolds beneath your feet. It’s a sight that will stay with you long after you descend from the summit.

Exploring the Scenic Beauty of Huayna Potosí

While the climb itself requires physical endurance and mental strength, the reward of reaching the summit is unparalleled. As you stand atop Huayna Potosí, you become part of the dramatic landscape that stretches out in every direction. The rugged peaks, the vast glaciers, and the pristine wilderness create a surreal and captivating atmosphere.

The impressive views from the summit of Huayna Potosí are a testament to the natural beauty of the region. The contrast between the snow-capped mountains and the deep blue skies is a sight to behold. It’s a moment of pure bliss and a reminder of the incredible wonders that can be found in the Bolivian Andes.

Features of Huayna Potosí Summit ViewsHighlights
Panoramic vistas360-degree views of the Cordillera Real mountain range, Lake Titicaca, and the Altiplano.
Natural wondersRugged peaks, vast glaciers, and pristine wilderness.
Stunning contrastsThe juxtaposition of snow-capped mountains against the deep blue skies.
Surreal atmosphereA sense of awe and wonder that envelops you in the presence of nature’s grandeur.

Huayna Potosí – An Epic Adventure Worth Conquering

Climbing Huayna Potosí is an epic adventure that requires preparation, determination, and a sense of adventure. It offers a unique opportunity to challenge oneself and experience the thrill of reaching a 6,000m peak. With the right training, guidance, and equipment, anyone with a passion for mountaineering can conquer Huayna Potosí and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Tips for selecting your path to the summit

“The mountains are calling and I must go.”

– John Muir

When embarking on the journey to conquer Huayna Potosí, it is essential to carefully select the path that will lead you to the summit. Consider the following tips to choose the best route:

  • Assess your experience level: Determine whether you are a beginner or an experienced climber. The Normal Route is recommended for beginners, offering a less technical ascent, while the French Route provides a challenging climb suitable for experienced mountaineers.
  • Consider your preferences: Think about the type of climb you enjoy. Do you prefer a more straightforward route or thrive on technical challenges? This will help you choose the route that aligns with your preferences and goals.
  • Consult with experienced climbers: Seek advice from experienced climbers or mountaineering experts who have conquered Huayna Potosí. They can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on their firsthand experience.
  • Evaluate the weather and season: Take into account the best season for climbing Huayna Potosí. Consider the weather conditions, such as rainfall and temperature, to ensure a safe and enjoyable climb.

By carefully considering these tips and selecting the path that suits your experience and preferences, you can embark on an unforgettable adventure of conquering Huayna Potosí.


Climbing Huayna Potosí is an extraordinary adventure that pushes you to your physical and mental limits. With careful preparation, dedicated training, and expert guidance, you can conquer this iconic peak and witness the awe-inspiring beauty of the Bolivian Andes. Whether you opt for the Normal Route, perfect for beginners, or the more challenging French Route, the climb will reward you in ways that words alone cannot express.

Embarking on this unforgettable journey will leave you with an immense sense of achievement and a newfound admiration for the sheer power and breathtaking splendor of nature. As you conquer each step, you’ll be surrounded by panoramic views that will take your breath away, including the majestic Cordillera Real mountain range, the glistening waters of Lake Titicaca, and the vast expanse of the Altiplano.

During this epic expedition, you’ll discover an inner strength you never knew you possessed and create memories that will last a lifetime. The challenging terrain, unpredictable weather, and the camaraderie amongst fellow climbers will test your resilience and forge lasting bonds.

So, lace up your boots, pack your gear, and set out on this remarkable adventure to conquer Huayna Potosí. It’s a journey that will transform you, inspire you, and ultimately prove that you are capable of achieving incredible feats amidst the grandeur of one of Bolivia’s most treasured natural wonders.

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