Pikey Peak Trek | Find out why it is favorite view point of Sir Edmund Hillary | Complete guide 2024

After our Pikey peak trek Fluffy, Charlie & I we couldn’t agree more to the fact “The closer we get to the mountains, the less we see of them.”

This holds true for trekking in Everest region where the Mount Everest is not visible after the settlement of Tengboche unless you climb Kalapatthar. For the best panoramic view of the mountains you have to set your foot back to mid mountain peaks.

Unquestionably Pikey peak is probably the best viewpoint and thanks to the new road this vantage point is more accessible to trekkers like you and us. Pikey peak trek is one of the best kept secrets of trekking in Nepal.

Most of the trekkers doing the trekking in Everest overflew Pikey peak en route to Lukla and sadly this is happening for several decades. Pikey was isolated in the past, but now with new roads to Phaplu and Salleri it is all of sudden accessible and started gaining a popularity.

Still cannot decide which of the short treks to do in Nepal, comparing Annapurna base camp or Langtang Valley? Let me help you decide by introducing a one week trek that has a perfectly stunning landscape and unique Sherpa culture | Pikey Peak Trek

Pikey peak trek overview

Pikey peak trek quick facts

Pikey peak trek distance | 5o - 60 km | 31 - 37 miles
Days | 5 - 9
Highest Elevation | 4065 m | 13340 ft
Difficulty | Easy
Permits | Not required
Guide | Optional
Accommodation | Teahouse or Camping
Cost | USD 500 - 1900

Pikey peak trek highlights

  • Varied landscape from 2400 m / 7900 ft to 4060 m / 13300 ft
  • Perfect introduction to Sherpa culture
  • Stunning view of all eight thousand meter high mountains of Nepal
  • Little to no trekkers on the trail
  • Optional side trip to Dudh Kunda lake
Good morning from Pikey Peak

Note: Top of the Pikey peak is probably the only place in Nepal which offers the view of all eight thousand meter high mountains of Nepal, which is the major highlight of this trek. Name of these mountains from east to west in following order:

Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Lhotse, Everest, Cho Oyu, Manaslu, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri

Pikey peak trek photos

Before you go further ahead of this in depth trekking guide, enjoy these stunning photos that I took on the Pikey peak with Fluffy and Charlie. Do check us out our adventures in Instagram.

Where is Pikey Peak?

Pikey peak is located in Solu Khumbu district, approximately 117 km or 72 miles east of the Kathmandu valley. Ideal starting point for Pikey peak trek is Dhap which is almost 250 km from Kathmandu.

It is also common among trekkers to start the trek from Jiri or Phaplu as well, and there are multiple options to customize the itinerary for this trek. You can start the trek from Dhap and end in Phaplu or continue further toward Junbeshi if you are looking to combing Dudh Kunda lake in your itinerary as well.

How to hike Pikey peak?

Unlike other restricted area trekking in Nepal like Manaslu, Tsum valley, Kanchenjunga or Upper Mustang having a guide is not mandatory for trekking in Pikey peak trek.

Independent trekkers are welcome in Pikey, and this is probably one of the very rare that you don’t need any sorts of trekking permits on this trek leaving you with three ways to make the trek:

Booking Pikey peak trek with agency

It is best to book Pikey peak trek through a reputed trekking agency to be hassle free where everything will be taken care of from transportation to food, accommodation during the trek.

You can just plan to arrive in Kathmandu and get ready in a day or two.

Hiring a guide and or a porter for Pikey peak trek

If you know someone that you have trekked before or have a good recommendation for a guide, then you can hire a guide only. Since the permits are not required for this trek, your guide can help you book the transportation to and from Kathmandu.

From my experiences of doing the Pikey peak trek, I’ll explain things in details what you should know for the trip.

Trekking independently without a guide and or a porter

You are free to trek independently either solo or in a group for Pikey peak. Being a less popular trekking route, it could be hard to form a group of individual trekkers.

Trails are properly marked with a signboard along the way, and one shouldn’t be worried about anything trekking on his / her own.

There are enough teahouses along the way, no pre booking is required. The only thing is to book a ticket if you are going overland on a local jeep. I will explain in details below where and how to book the tickets.

You can also choose to fly in and out of Phaplu if you don’t fancy driving almost ten hours on tarmac road!

Pikey peak trek itinerary

Mainly depending on your time and your interest you can add side trips to Dudh Kunda or Junbeshi along the way, or just do the short Pikey peak trek from Dhap. This time we have done it a total of 8 days Kathmandu to Kathmandu, so a six days of walking and two days of driving.

Our initial plan was to hike to Everest base camp or even Everest three passes trek, but we ended up hiking Pikey peak! Long story short, we drove to Phaplu then to Tham Danda and hiked up to Monjo heading to Everest base camp.

However, we were not allowed to enter Sagarmatha National Park with pets and forced to turn back. Respecting the country’s rule we returned back the same way up to Phaplu.

While looking for trekking options, I figured out Pikey peak and decided to combine it with Dudh Kunda. With no second thought, both Charlie and Fluffy agreed on this newly planned itinerary.

Disclaimer: On my itinerary below for the first day it will be as drive from Kathmandu to Phaplu although we drove down from Tham Danda for way back.

Watch this video as we hike Pikey peak and Dudh Kunda

Pikey peak and Dudh Kunda 8 days outline itinerary

Day 01Drive from Kathmandu to Phaplu
Day 02Free day in Phaplu & late afternoon drive to Ringmo
Day 03Ringmo to Sashar Beni
Day 04Morning hike to Dudh Kunda & Sashar Beni to Ringmo
Day 05Ringmo to Junbeshi
Day 06Junbeshi to Jasmane Bhanjyang
Day 07Morning hike to Pikey & Jasmane Bhanjyang to Loding & drive to Phaplu
Day 08Drive from Phaplu to Kathmandu

Note: On the second day, there was a protest in Nepal by maoist, so no vehicles were running the entire day. Later in the afternoon, a jeep agreed to drop us in Ringmo.

Note: There is a direct way from Sashar Beni to Junbeshi without going back to Ringmo. This will save you a day, but it was not recommended to hike without someone who knows the way.

Alternative itinerary for Pikey peak trek and side trips

In a regular 5 days Pikey peak trek itinerary there will be two days of driving and three days of hiking from Dhap to Phaplu. From Phaplu you can choose either to fly or drive back to Kathmandu.

Pikey peak trek 5 days itinerary

Day 01Drive from Kathmandu to Dhap
Day 02Dhap to Jhapre
Day 03Jhapre to Pikey peak base camp
Day 04Pikey peak base camp to Loding and drive to Phaplu
Day 05Drive from Phaplu to Kathmandu

Alternative to Dhap, you can also start your trek from Jiri, which is the usual start point of the classic Everest base camp trek. Please note that you will need to have a permit for Gaurishankar Conservation Area Permit if you choose to start your hike from Jiri.

Jiri Pikey peak trek 9 days itinerary

Day 01Drive from Kathmandu to Shivalaya via Jiri
Day 02Shivalaya to Bhandar
Day 03Bhandar to Namkheli
Day 04Namkheli to Ngaur
Day 05Ngaur to Pikey peak base camp
Day 06Pikey peak base camp to Jasmane Bhanjyang
Day 07Jasmane Bhanjyang to Junbeshi
Day 08Junbeshi to Phaplu
Day 09Drive from Phaplu to Kathmandu

If you want to spend more time on the trek, I would recommend Junbeshi and or Dudh Kunda as side trips. You can also make a quick to Thuptencholing monastery from the village of Junbeshi.

Junbeshi

Junbeshi is a beautiful Sherpa village on the trail to Mount Everest taken by sir Edmund Hillary back in 1953. You can easily spend two nights here, where I highly recommend making a day visit to Thuptencholing Monastery.

Thuptencholing Monastery

Thuptencholing monastery was constructed by Lama Trulsik Rinpoche back in 1968 who fled from Rongbuk Gompa in Tibet. Couple hundreds nuns and monks are residing in the monastery where majority of them are Tibetan refugees.

Dudh Kunda

A small lake right in the lap of Mount Numbur, Dudh Kunda is considered as a holy place for both Buddhist and Hindu. There is a small seasonal hut in Sashar Beni for night stay if you choose to hike here. I recommend checking with local people in Ringmo about the status of the hut.

How much money do I need for Pikey peak trek?

Pikey peak trek cost depends on several factors, mainly on the style of trek you are doing whether you are booking a full board package from an agency or hiring your own guide or you are doing the trek independently.

Booking your trek directly with a reputable local agency is the best idea if you like to have organized trip. For a five day Pikey peak trek including guide, accommodation, food & transportation would be approximately USD 500 to 550.

Note: Usually drinks and tips to guide are not included in the package.

Cheapest alternative could be hiking independently taking care of your expense on the trek and booking your own transportation. Trust me this is fairly easy and I highly recommend enjoying your trek on your own 🙂

I just hired a porter, and with my experience doing Pikey peak and Dudh Kunda I am going to give you the breakdown of my total trek cost and other helpful information.

Transportation

Dhap village is the most popular start point for Pikey peak trek, however you can also start from Phaplu or Jiri. Unlike other destinations, there are only small jeeps running between Kathmandu to Dhap or Phaplu. I looked for the option of getting a bus but without luck. I always prefer to avoid traveling on smaller vehicle to avoid motion sickness.

These jeeps depart super early from Kathmandu and to my surprise to they come to pick you up in your location, such a service!

One way ticket will cost you approximately USD 20 to 25 depending on whether you are going to Dhap or to Phaplu. Ticket booth for this transport are mainly in Chahabil, near Bouddhanath.

Here is a contact number number of one of the company, you can ask your hotel to book it for you and coordinate with them to pick you up in the morning.

Note: They will pick you up in between 4:00 to 4:30 am

For a comfortable drive, you can choose the private vehicle options with the flexibility of starting a bit late in the morning and break the journey as you go with short breaks along the way. Please bear in mind that this is a very long journey with the expected time of 10 to 12 hours on the road so I don’t recommend starting late from Kathmandu.

If budget is not an issue, then you can fly in and out from Phaplu airport from Kathmandu. Tara Air operates flights between Kathmandu and Phaplu, do check their flight schedule. Most of the time they operates twice a week so booking your tickets in advance in very important and should fit with your trekking itinerary.

For Pikey peak trek starting from Jiri or Shivalaya, you have a daily bus service departing around 6:30 am from Kathmandu. This will cost approximately USD 15 for a seat, and journey is much shorter around 8 hrs.

Trekking permit

You do NOT require any permit for trekking Pikey peak unless starting or ending your trek in Jiri. Not even if you extend your trip to Dudh Kunda.

On the other hand, if you are starting or ending your trek in Jiri then you will need an entry permit for Gaurishankar Conservation Area. As of now, this permit will cost you NPR 3000 per person and can be easily obtained in Kathmandu.

Note: GCA entry permit is issued by NTNC in Kathmandu. It is located in Nepal Tourism Board by the Exhibition Road. Below is a location map for the permit counter:

Please note that GCA permit is the same for trekking to Tsho Rolpa. I issued this permit at the conservation area entry point, not in Kathmandu. This could be the same with the Pikey peak trek that you can obtain the permit directly in Shivalaya.

Ask someone you know to verify this with NTNC.

Trekking guide

Having a guide is not mandatory by the government for Pikey peak trek.

You can hike independently if wish you to without a guide and or a porter. However, if you prefer having a guide then a guide will cost you approximately USD 25 to 30 per day for their salary.

Having a porter will set you back USD 18 to 20 per day with a weight limit of 22 kilos.

The above rate covers their salary, food, accommodation and insurance. Additional to the daily cost, you also need to cover their transportation. Domestic flights are approximately one third of the forefinger fare while ground transportation cost the same regardless of nationality.

Tipping is expected at the end of the trip as guiding is a seasonal job in Nepal. While there isn’t a fixed amount for tipping, depending on your group size and duration of trek, a suggested amount for tipping is 60 to 80 USD for guide and 50 for the porter.

Food and accommodation

You will find a standard menu on the teahouses along the way with a wide range of food items from typical Dal Bhat to Pizza. In some places like Phaplu and Junbeshi you can get a good coffee too.

With a good transportation facility cost of meals is very reasonable on Pikey peak trek. Prices will get a little expensive when you go to Jasmane Bhanjyang or Junbeshi. On average, you will be spending 4 to 5 USD for each meal and drinks are extra.

In general teahouses are quite basic, especially the one in Jasmane Bhanjyang. Room comes with twin beds and a shared toilet where mattress, pillow & blankets comes as standard. Average cost of accommodation is USD 3 per night as per my experience.

Note: There are some fancier hotels in Phaplu and Junbeshi.

Note: You’ll find electricity in most of the villages on the Pikey peak trekking except from Jasmane Bhanjyang, where only limited solar power is available and there’s no charging facility.

Miscellaneous cost

Except from major cost breakdowns above, you should be aware of other miscellaneous cost while budgeting your trip. In some teahouses they will charge you for hot shower with extra 2 USD.

Charging your gadgets like phone and camera is free most of the times. In some prepare to pay USD 1 or less for charging your phone and camera or any other electrical items.

WiFi was available every except in Jasmane Bhanjyang, it was free in all the places. I remember being charged USD 2 for using it in Junbeshi.

Summing up all the mentioned cost above into account, you will be looking into USD 500 to 1900 for a five to nine days Pikey peak trek. This variation indicates different modes of transport, porter or not and your choice of foods & accommodation.

Note: The higher end of cost is an estimated cost for a full service camping trek.

How difficult is Pikey peak trek?

In my opinion, Pikey peak trek is moderately challenging. While not as extreme as some other high altitude treks in Nepal, Pikey peak’s elevation of 4065 meters still poses a challenge. Altitude sickness is a risk.

Trails on Pikey peak trek are a mix of well maintained paths and some rougher sections. Expect uneven terrain, occasional rocky sections, and the potential for slippery mud, especially during monsoon season.

The trek involves daily hikes of 5 to 6 hours on average. While not overly long, sustained walking for several days in a row requires good stamina and endurance.

On the Pikey Peak trek, be prepared for a range of conditions from warm and sunny days to sudden rain showers, chilly nights, and potentially even snow at higher elevations. Packing layers and waterproof gear is essential.

While there are basic teahouses and lodges along the route, Pikey peak region is relatively less developed than some of the more popular Everest treks.

Being prepared for unexpected situations is essential.

When is the best time for Pikey peak trek?

Spring | March, April and May

During spring, the landscape becomes a sight to behold with the blooming rhododendron forests in vibrant red, pink, and white shades. For Pikey peak trek, this is the best time of the year!

Autumn | September, October and November

As autumn approaches, scenery transforms into a different kind of beauty, with the leaves of trees turning golden and skies crystal clear, offering a breathtaking view of the mountains in their full glory.

Autumn is a fascinating time, with major festivals like Dashain and Tihar filling the air with celebration. Trekking during this period offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.

Winter | December, January and February

In winter, expect cold temperatures, especially at night and early morning. Temperatures can drop below freezing. Winter days are often clear and sunny, offering fantastic visibility. However, be prepared for potential snowfall, which can make the trails more challenging.

Trails might also be icy or snow-covered, especially as you go higher in elevation.

Monsoon | June, July and August

The monsoon brings frequent and sometimes intense rainfall to the region. Trails can become muddy, slippery, and prone to landslides.

Clouds and fog often obscure the mountain views that Pikey Peak is famous for. Leeches thrive in wet conditions and can be a nuisance.

Wifi connectivity and phone in Pikey peak trek

Most lodges along the Pikey peak trek will have WiFi. The larger, more established lodges in the lower parts of the trek have WiFi, which usually comes at an extra cost. Once you ascend to higher altitudes, don’t expect WiFi availability.

Nepal Telecom is the region’s most reliable mobile network provider. Phone reception will be patchy at best. You might get a signal in some of the places with good visibility. Expect to be without a signal for long trek stretches, especially in higher and more remote sections.

Get a Nepal Telecom sim card in Kathmandu before you start the trek. This will give you the best chance of getting a signal when available. Let your friends, family, and essential contacts know you’ll be out of touch for most of the trek. Take the opportunity to truly disconnect from the digital world and immerse yourself in the beauty of the trek.

It’s crucial to go on the Pikey peak trek prepared for being offline. I remember NTC barely works in Jasmane Bhanjyang for a call. It only worked once or twice once we headed north to the Dudh Kunda area.

Risk during Pikey peak trek

The Pikey peak trek is a beautiful and rewarding experience, but it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks involved. Altitude sickness is a risk at elevations above 2,500 meters. Pikey Peak reaches 4,065 meters, so you need to be mindful of the symptoms. General symptoms of altitude sickness are headache, nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, & difficulty sleeping.

The weather in Pikey peak can change quickly. Be prepared for rain, snow, strong winds, and cold temperatures, even during good trekking seasons. The ideal trekking seasons are spring and autumn, when the weather is generally more stable.

Trekking is possible during winter and monsoon seasons, but trails can be slippery, and some teahouses might be closed.

Note: If you are going to Dudh Kunda, check whether the teahouse in Sashar Beni is open. Also, check for the one in Jasmane Bhanjyang.

The Pikey peak trek is considered moderately challenging. While no prior technical experience is needed, you should have a good fitness level for several hours of daily walking with elevation gain.

Help may not be immediately accessible in case of injury or illness. Being physically prepared is essential, and I highly recommend carrying a basic first aid kit.

Flights to and from Phaplu depend heavily on weather conditions. Cancellations due to fog, rain, or high winds can happen with little notice. There is no single website or a resource that tracks flights between Phaplu and Kathmandu in real time.

Be prepared for possible cancellations, particularly during the monsoon season when the weather is less predictable. It’s wise to have a flexible itinerary and consider alternative transportation options like buses or jeeps, though it can take much longer.

Note: Unlike Lukla, from where you need a minimum of 2 to 3 days to get back to Kathmandu in case of flight cancellation, from Phaplu it will take 10 to 12 hours.

Insurance for Pikey peak trek

While the Pikey peak trek is considered moderately challenging, it’s still a trek in the Himalayas and carries inherent risks. Pikey Peak reaches an altitude of over 4000 m / 13100 ft, where altitude sickness can become a concern.

When you go trekking, the last thing you want to worry about is an unforeseen medical emergency. That’s why ensuring that your travel insurance covers emergency medical treatment is essential. With the right coverage, you can be confident you’ll receive the necessary care, no matter what happens during your journey.

Pikey peak trek takes you through remote areas where medical facilities are limited. In case of a severe injury or illness, helicopter evacuation might be necessary, which can be very expensive.

It is essential to have travel insurance to protect yourself from trip cancellations, delays, and disruptions caused by bad weather.

The insurance company I would recommend for trekking Pikey peak is World Nomads.

Note: Always carefully review policy limits and read the fine print to fully understand coverage.

What to pack for Pikey peak trek?

Although it is a short trek and not much of a wide variation in elevation, it is still crucial to pack correctly for Pikey peak. If you are carrying your own backpack, then ideal weight for a week long trek should range in between 7 – 8 kilos.

If you decide to have a porter your main luggage will be carried by him. You just need a pack with your necessities for the day only. This is because porter always walks a bit ahead in general. Here is my packing list for my eight days Pikey peak trek:

Backpack | Lowepro Photo Sport BP 200 AW II

Light down jacket good for 5° Celsius
Heavy down jacket good for negative 10° Celsius

Two pairs of light walking trouser
One thick walking trouser

One set of thermal
One fleece jumper
One windbreaker
Few pair of t-shirts

Sunhat, gloves and sunglass
Personal hygiene kit

Hiking boot and camp shoe
Few pairs of socks

Note: I hired a porter only who was carrying a duffle bag, which weighed approximately 15 kilos, including the dog’s food. As we hike day after day, the porter’s bag gets lighter and lighter!

Don’t forget to bring a copy of Pikey peak trek map with you too.

Where to stay before and after Pikey peak trek?

Kathmandu is the ideal place to stay before and after the trek. Whether you want to get to trek start point by the ground transportation or flight, Kathmandu is from where you will be starting. I highly recommend staying two nights here to get prepared & arrange last minute things for your trip.

Within Kathmandu, Thamel is a core tourist hub with plenty of hotels, eateries and gear shops. From backpackers dorm hostel with bunk bed to fancy boutique hotel to five star hotel, Thamel has it all. You can rent or buy necessary gears easily in Thamel.

It is close & easy to travel between airport and Thamel. Also, the jeep station is very close by from here. Usually jeep will come to pick you up in your hotel.

Note: At the end, you can also choose to stay in Bhaktapur.

Pikey peak trek FAQ

Being a new trekking route information is quite limited for Pikey peak trek and I have seen many questions being asked on forums. I did a bit of research and ended up compiling ten most asked questions related to this trek. I really do hope this will answer most of your questions.

  1. Where is Pikey peak trek?

    Pikey peak trek is located in Solu Khumbu district, some 117 km or 72 miles east from Kathmandu. Trek starts and end in either Dhap or Phaplu. Depending on your time and interest, this can be done circular route or the same way in and same way out.

  2. Can I do Pikey peak trek independently without a guide?

    Yes, you can independently hike Pikey peak on your own without having a guide. You can hike solo or in a group.

  3. How long does it take to do the Pikey peak trek?

    Pikey peak trek can be done as short as 5 days or you can extend it to 9 days. To extend the trip you can combine it with Dudh Kunda or start your trek from Jiri side instead of doing it Dhap or Phaplu.

  4. When is the best time for Pikey peak trek?

    Best time for Pikey peak trek is during spring where the rhododendron blooms throughout the trail. I do not recommend doing this trek during the monsoon where the trails are muddy and views are mostly covered with little to no view.

    Autumn is equally as beautiful as spring. During the winter despite cold trail is really amazing and still a good time for the trek.

  5. How difficult is Pikey peak trek?

    Pikey peak trek is a moderately difficult trek suitable for all age groups. With lower elevation and lesser walking distance on average compare to other high altitude treks Pikey is fairly moderate and accessible.

  6. How much does it cost to do the Pikey peak trek?

    Depending on whether you do it independently or through an agency or with your own guide, cost varies widely. Pikey peak trek can cost from USD 500 to 1900 with several factors like a jeep or flight for transport, having a porter or not and the duration of your trip.

  7. What permits are required for Pikey peak trek?

    Surprises no permits are required for trekking Pikey peak. You will need a permit only if you are starting the trek from Jiri and it will cost you NPR 3000 for this Gaurishankar conservation area permit.

  8. Pikey peak trek vs Everest view trek, which is better?

    Having done both of these treks, in my honest opinion I would say Pikey peak trek is much better than Everest view trek.

    You don’t need to worry about flight delays or cancellation between Kathmandu and Lukla. Also, less crowded and offer better views.

  9. How to combine Pikey peak with Dudh Kunda?

    You need additional three days to combine Dudh Kunda with Pikey. You can either go either from Junbeshi with the local guide or head straight north from Phaplu passing via Ringmo village. All you need to make sure is a hut in Sasharbeni is open for overnight stay.

  10. Where to booking the public jeep ticket for Kathmandu to Dhap or Phaplu

    Being limited number of jeeps running it can be quite daunting to find a counter to book your ticket to Dhap or Phaplu. Unusual to other destinations, the ticket for Dhap or Phaplu can be booked from the counter in Chahabil.

    Best way is to ask your hotel in Kathmandu to make a call and book it for you. On your way back to Kathmandu, it is very easy to book a one in Phaplu.

My thoughts on doing Pikey peak trek

In my opinion, Pikey peak trek is a real gem of Nepal, unknown till date compared to other popular short treks like Langtang valley and Annapurna base camp.

Pikey peak trek is perfect gateway to experience authentic Sherpa culture & unmatched panoramic view of mountains from Kanchenjunga to Dhaulagiri.

It would be my top recommendation to people looking for a short one week to ten day teahouse trek in Nepal.

If you have any questions about this trek, do comment it below. I will do my best to answer each of your questions personally as soon as I can.

12 thoughts on “Pikey Peak Trek | Find out why it is favorite view point of Sir Edmund Hillary | Complete guide 2024”

  1. I read in The Guardian that having a guide is mandatory for trekking in Nepal, true? If not, how did you do this trek with a porter?

    Was he licensed porterguide?

    One of the best videos I have ever watched in YouTube till date, keep them coming, Namaste 🙂

    Reply
    • That rule didn’t work out, it was spread widely but wasn’t implemented. For Pikey peak trek you can do it independently without a guide if you wish.

      Thank you for your encouraging comment on my video, will keep it coming for sure 🙂

      Reply
  2. Wow that is stunning! How many hours a day did you hike? Did doggos ever get too tired and went on strike? I know mine would haha. Amazing scenery.

    Reply
  3. What a beautiful hiking buddies you have, I played this for my boy and he keeps tilting his head all the time watching three of you in action.

    Reply

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