Grossarl | Ski Resort Review

11 Mar 202422 min
By Arjen Hartman
View of snow covered streets in Salzburg, Austria.

The ski resort of Grossarl, located in the Salzburgerland region of Austria, is an enchanting destination for families and intermediate skiers. Situated within the vast Ski Amadé ski area, one of Austria's largest ski resorts, Grossarl offers an idyllic winter getaway with its charming alpine ambience and abundance of rustic mountain huts and lodges. Known as the "Valley of Mountain Huts", Grossarl is an unrivalled choice in this enchanting region.

Grossarl - Overview

Grossarl is a picturesque village in the lesser known Grossarltal, parallel to the more popular Gasteinertal, south of St Johann im Pongau. It is known for its friendly and relaxed atmosphere, which is particularly appealing to families. Many mountain restaurants offer special low-cost children's lunches to make family visits affordable.

The natural beauty of the resort is one of its main attractions as it is surrounded by the Hohe Tauern National Park, which offers stunning alpine scenery and excellent opportunities for winter walking and snowshoeing.

Female visitors can take advantage of the long-running Ladies Week spring promotion, which includes free lift passes and access to special entertainment and events when booking a minimum seven-night stay at participating hotels in Grossarl (male partners are also welcome for an additional charge).

The Grossarl ski area may be compact, but it is linked by lifts and slopes to Dorfgastein in the Gastein Valley, offering a total of 73km of pistes that can be easily explored over a few days by intermediate and confident beginners.

The Ski amadé Pass is accepted in all five regions: Grossarltal, Gasteinertal, Salzburger Sportwelt, Hochkönig and Schladming-Dachstein. With reliable snow conditions throughout the season and well-maintained pistes with modern lifts, skiing in Grossarltal-Dorfgastein promises to be an enjoyable experience.

Ski Resort Highlights

Ski area
Apres ski
Ski area: 80km
Summit: 2033m
Resort height: 920m
Altitude range: 868-2033m
Vertical drop: 1165m
Parks: 1
Salzburg (1h 3min)
Train stations:
St Johann im Pongau (30min)

Grossarl - Ski Map & Pistes

Grossarl has firmly established its reputation as a welcoming haven for families seeking an enjoyable skiing experience. This charming ski destination offers a diverse range of pistes for skiers of all abilities, from enthusiastic beginners to seasoned experts. 

While not as expansive as some of Austria's larger resorts, the Grossarl ski area strikes a harmonious balance between meticulously groomed slopes and exciting off-piste opportunities. In particular, Grossarl shines as a popular choice for families and those looking for a quieter and less crowded ski getaway.

Situated gracefully between two local peaks, the Kruezkogel (2,027m) and the Fulseck (2,033m), the Grossarl-Dorfgastein ski area stretches across the ridge. A flat, bi-directional ridge run connects these two areas, which are generously shared by blue and red runs that extend gracefully on either side of the watershed.

The Grossarl area, the larger of the two, welcomes visitors with an enticing array of long, winding blue and red pistes that meander through picturesque wooded slopes to the valley's two gondola access points. Located just a few hundred metres from the village of Grossarl, these base areas are easily accessible by free ski bus or a short walk from selected hotels.

To get to the top of the mountain, there is a reliable gondola and four chairlifts, as well as a pair of T-bar lifts, which are mainly dedicated to beginners' slopes. It should be noted that these lifts do not play a major role in connecting the main routes. Amidst the picturesque slopes, a plethora of charming mountain bars and restaurants offer skiers respite, while the vast majority of the groomed area is equipped with advanced snowmaking technology.

Intermediate skiers can enjoy challenging descents, especially on the short but steep red runs below the Kruezkogel summit. On the non-lift-served side of this bowl, off the Fulseck-Kieserl ridge, there are also a couple of ungroomed but exhilarating red runs. 

This unpisted but patrolled flank of the ski area offers limited but tempting prospects for off-piste enthusiasts. It's worth noting that there are only two short black runs in the entire interconnected area.

Aspiring freestyle skiers and snowboarders are well catered for in Grossarl's compact but immaculately maintained snowpark, which is located on the Sonnenbahn slopes just below the Kruezkogel summit. 

The park boasts a delightful array of features, including a variety of kickers and a welcoming set of beginner-friendly butterbox modules, available in flat, rainbow and wave configurations.

2023 Skimap Grossarltal DorfgasteinSki map of the ski resort Grossarl. Click on the image to see the big ski map of Grossarl.

Grossarl – A Haven for Off-Piste, Backcountry & Ski Touring Enthusiasts

In the heart of Austria, Grossarl is a family-friendly ski resort known for its groomed slopes. But it also offers exciting opportunities for off-piste enthusiasts, backcountry adventurers and ski tourers. In this picturesque region you can explore a wide variety of terrain and enjoy thrilling experiences. Let's discover the local insights and essential safety measures that Grossarl offers for off-piste, backcountry and ski touring adventures.

Off-Piste Skiing in Grossarl: A Thrill-Seeker’s Playground

While Grossarl has a family-friendly atmosphere, it's the exciting off-piste opportunities that make it truly appealing. Seekar and Fulseck are two of the most notable areas, with terrain ranging from powder hideaways to off-piste runs, making them ideal for intermediate to advanced skiers.

Safety is paramount when venturing out on these off-piste adventures. With risks such as avalanches, staying informed about local conditions is crucial. Hiring a local guide isn't just a recommendation, it's a game-changer, as they not only provide safety, but also insider knowledge of the best spots. Beginners who want to try off-piste skiing can benefit greatly from guided tours offered by local ski schools, where they can learn specific techniques and safety protocols.

The Hüttschlag Valley, an extension of Grossarl, is a less crowded haven for off-piste enthusiasts looking for a quiet backcountry experience. This area offers a variety of routes tailored to different skill levels. Off-piste skiing in Grossarl is more than just a sport; it is an opportunity to connect with nature, observe wildlife and appreciate the pristine alpine environment while adhering to the Leave No Trace principles.

Backcountry Skiing in Grossarl: Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Backcountry skiing in Grossarl is a must for those seeking solitude and untouched snow. The Kruezkogel and Fulseck Ridge offer access to breathtaking terrain, creating a tranquil skier's paradise. The backcountry adventure continues in the Hüttschlag Valley, Breitenebenalm area and Schuhflicker Mountain.

Each location offers unique challenges and picturesque scenery, from high-altitude descents to diverse alpine and forest environments. Advanced skiers will be tempted by the steep slopes and deep powder of the Saukaralm and Sonnblick areas. In addition, the Tappenkarsee area near the Tappenkarsee lake is renowned for its scenic beauty and variety of routes.

When exploring these areas, it is important to prioritise safety and local knowledge. Whether hiring a guide or checking local conditions beforehand, keeping these aspects in mind will ensure a rewarding and safe experience when venturing into Grossarl's backcountry.

Ski Touring in Grossarl: Embrace the Alpine Splendor

Ski touring in Grossarl allows you to immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural beauty of the Austrian Alps. With a wide range of terrain to choose from, from gentle slopes to more challenging routes, there is something for every level of ability and fitness. The experience goes beyond skiing; it's about taking in the awe-inspiring alpine scenery that is an integral part of ski touring.

As with any backcountry activity, safety should always be paramount. Checking avalanche conditions, carrying the necessary safety equipment and informing someone of your plans are crucial steps to ensuring a safe and enjoyable ski touring adventure in Grossarl.

In conclusion, Grossarl not only offers family-friendly activities, but also a wealth of experiences for those seeking off-piste adventure, backcountry exploration and ski touring. 

From the enticing slopes of Seekar and Fulseck to the tranquil Hüttschlag Valley and breathtaking ski touring routes throughout the Austrian Alps, Grossarl offers diverse and exciting options for every winter sports enthusiast. 

Promoting safety and respecting the natural environment are key aspects of this destination, which promises both exhilarating adventure and serene beauty for off-piste skiing experiences.

Exploring Grossarl Through Guided Tours

Grossarl is not only a place with amazing ski slopes, it is also full of culture, natural beauty and outdoor activities that are best experienced through guided tours. Whether you love winter sports, nature or immersing yourself in the local culture, Grossarl has many guided tour options to make your holiday even better.

Winter Wonderland: Guided Ski and Snow Tours

If you are visiting Grossarl in the winter, be sure to take part in the guided ski and snow tours. These tours are suitable for all levels of skier and provide a unique opportunity to explore the region's extensive ski area.

Accompanied by experienced guides, you will not only get to explore world-class skiing routes, but also pick up valuable tips on how to improve your skiing skills. 

In addition to skiing, snowshoeing is a great way to immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of Grossarl's winter landscape. 

These tours take you through snow-covered forests and meadows, offering a peaceful escape and the chance to observe local wildlife.

Cultural and Historical Insights: Guided Village Tours

As well as beautiful scenery, Grossarl has a rich history and culture. Visitors can take part in guided village tours that provide an insight into the local way of life. 

These informative tours include visits to historic sites, local churches and museums that offer an insight into the traditions and history of the region. 

Some tours even allow visitors to indulge in the local culinary delights with tastings of regional specialities and visits to local farms and dairies.

Family-Friendly Excursions

Grossarl understands the different needs of holidaymakers and offers guided tours specially designed for families. 

These tours are carefully planned to ensure that children have a fun and safe experience with activities such as gentle hikes, farm visits and interactive cultural experiences. 

Parents and children can create lasting memories while exploring the beauty of Grossarl on these family-friendly tours.

Grossarl: A Guided Tour for All Interest

In summary, Grossarl's guided tours cater for all types of visitors, whether they are looking for excitement, cultural immersion or a leisurely exploration of the stunning Austrian countryside. 

Accompanied by knowledgeable guides, these tours not only guarantee safety, but also enhance your holiday with insider information and hidden treasures that may remain undiscovered on your own. 

Choosing a guided tour with Exploreo is a sure way to create an unforgettable holiday experience in Austria.

Safety Measures by Grossarl Ski Resort

As a skier or snowboarder, knowing the safety protocols at Grossarl ski resort and being aware of general safety guidelines is essential for an enjoyable and safe experience. Here's what you need to know.

Grossarl ski resort takes proactive measures to manage the risk of avalanches, including regularly monitoring snow conditions and using controlled explosions when necessary.

They also ensure that all slopes are well maintained, groomed and marked for safety. Ski lifts and gondolas are regularly inspected and maintained, with trained staff on hand to assist skiers.

The resort provides clear signage throughout the area, along with information on weather conditions and potential hazards.

In the event of an emergency, a trained ski patrol team is on hand to provide first aid and evacuation. For beginners and those looking to improve their skills, the resort's ski and snowboard schools offer qualified instructors who emphasise both technique and safety on the slopes.

Environmental measures by Grossarl Ski Resort

Grossarl Ski Resort takes significant measures to protect the environment. The Grossarl Valley, a region renowned for its unspoilt beauty and commitment to sustainability, demonstrates a holistic approach to environmental protection and responsible tourism.

At the heart of their mission is a belief in co-existence with nature and the recognition of the importance of an undamaged ecosystem for both residents and tourists seeking sustainable holiday opportunities.

Initiatives for Regional Planning and Environmental Protection

Since 1980, the Hüttschlag Valley has been a protected landscape area. Its integration into the Hohe Tauern National Park in 1991 further emphasised Hüttschlag's commitment to environmental protection. 

Recognition as a "Mountaineering Village" in 2008 supports the Grossarl Valley's commitment to sustainable tourism, supported by excellent mountain spring water and first-class waste water management systems that guarantee high quality drinking water and protect the environment.

Protecting Wildlife and Engaging in Responsible Recreation

To protect wildlife, the Grossarl Valley has established wildlife quiet zones and carefully designed ski touring and mountain biking routes to avoid these areas. 

This initiative, under the motto "Respect Your Boundaries", encourages visitors to participate in outdoor activities while minimising disturbance to local wildlife and habitats.

Solutions for Sustainable Transportation

The region encourages the use of public transport with initiatives such as the Pongau-Takt and the subsidisation of fares with the €1-ticket programme. This not only makes transport more accessible, but also encourages environmentally friendly travel choices. 

In addition, there is a free ski bus service in winter and taxi minibuses in summer, further reducing the need for private cars and contributing to a sustainable approach to tourism.

Promoting regional identity and supporting the local economy

The symbiotic relationship between tourism and agriculture is beautifully demonstrated in the Grossarltal, where alpine grazing supports both nature conservation and authentic experiences for visitors. 

The Genuss Region Grossarltal initiative focuses on promoting local food, while the use of Grossarltal Vouchers encourages spending in the local economy to keep value in the valley.

Initiatives for Renewable Energy and Bio-Energy

Grossarl Valley's commitment to energy independence is demonstrated by its support for renewable energy sources, such as 13 small hydroelectric power plants and a biomass district heating plant. 

These facilities not only meet the energy needs of the valley, but also contribute to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions, demonstrating Grossarltal's leadership in sustainable energy production.

In summary, the Grossarl Valley is committed to sustainability and is taking various measures to protect the environment, support the local economy and provide visitors with a responsible and enriching holiday. 

The region implements regional planning, wildlife conservation efforts, sustainable transport systems, promotes local products and invests in renewable energy initiatives. 

These actions position the Grossarl Valley as a leading example of sustainable tourism, mitigating the impact of mass tourism while preserving its natural and cultural heritage for future generations.

Family skiing in Grossarl offers fun and safety for all ages

Grossarl, Austria is a wonderful choice for families looking for a relaxing and family friendly ski holiday. The resort offers ski schools and children's programmes to make skiing fun for the kids. Its friendly atmosphere and manageable size make it perfect for family holidays.

At Grossarl, families can enjoy skiing together in an ideal destination renowned for its family-friendly resorts. With slopes suitable for all levels of skier, from beginner to expert, there is something for everyone on the slopes.

Grossarl also offers well-designed children's ski areas, which have been specially designed with gentle slopes and fun play areas, providing the perfect environment for young learners to begin their skiing adventure.

The ski schools in Grossarl have professional instructors who specialise in teaching children, creating a safe environment where children can learn to ski while having fun. These instructors are trained to work with children of all ages and skill levels, ensuring that each child receives personalised instruction and guidance on the slopes.

In addition, resorts offer amenities such as family-friendly accommodation, restaurants with children's menus and post-ski activities for all ages. 

These resorts also offer childcare services and kids' clubs to keep the little ones entertained while the parents hit the slopes.

Grossarl is an exceptional option for families looking for a memorable and stress-free ski holiday, thanks to its excellent family-friendly facilities and the welcoming atmosphere throughout the region.

Grossarl - Restaurants, Bars & The Town

Grossarl offers a unique blend of exhilarating skiing, exquisite dining and tranquil relaxation, making it a top destination for year-round visitors. 

At the heart of its appeal is the renowned Edelweiss Restaurant, a culinary haven where traditional Austrian flavours are reinvented with contemporary flair. Here, amidst the breathtaking snow-capped peaks, diners can embark on an unforgettable gastronomic journey.

Grossarl's vibrant culinary scene extends beyond the Edelweiss, with a selection of restaurants to suit every palate. "Der Auhof is renowned for its cosy atmosphere and hearty Austrian fare, perfect for recharging after a day on the slopes. 

For those seeking a taste of Salzburg's culinary heritage, the Unterbergerwirt offers a rustic dining experience with an emphasis on farm-to-table freshness. The Gehwolfalm and Breitenebenalm offer charming alpine settings for enjoying traditional fare, while the Laireiteralm blends traditional and modern Austrian cuisine, all set against the stunning backdrop of the Alps.

Grossarl's appeal extends to its leisure centre, a versatile facility that transforms from a summer oasis with an outdoor swimming pool to a winter wonderland for ice skating and curling. This adaptability ensures that whatever the season, visitors have access to outdoor activities that enhance their stay. 

The leisure centre, along with the resort's hotels with their heated indoor pools, saunas and wellness facilities, underscores Grossarl's commitment to providing comprehensive relaxation and entertainment options.

For those seeking adventure off the slopes, Grossarl will not disappoint. The resort offers toboggan runs with torchlight evenings, snowshoe hikes, horse-drawn sleigh rides and even tandem paragliding, providing a wealth of activities to create lasting memories.

In short, Grossarl is a resort that truly has it all - from its culinary delights and relaxation facilities to its wealth of outdoor and adventure activities. 

Every aspect of the resort is designed to offer visitors a holistic experience, combining the thrill of skiing with the pleasures of Austrian cuisine and the tranquillity of the Alpine landscape, ensuring a memorable stay for all who visit.

Grossarl - Après Ski

Grossarl offers a tranquil and picturesque setting that contrasts with the bustling après-ski scenes of more famous party destinations such as St Anton or Ischgl. This tranquil resort caters for those who prefer a relaxed and cosy atmosphere to unwind after a day on the slopes. 

However, Grossarl does not lack for options for those looking for a bit of après-ski warmth and friendliness. The 'umbrella' bars dotted around the town, including the notable one at the Hotel Auhof, provide a cheerful ambience for those looking to enjoy an afternoon of merriment with a side order of stunning mountain views.

As the sun sets, the après-ski scene gives way to a more subdued evening atmosphere, with a selection of relaxed cafes and bars providing the perfect setting for intimate conversation and relaxation. 

Piccolo, located on the market square, is a favourite with locals and tourists alike for its cosy atmosphere and selection of fine drinks. 

For those looking for a little more rhythm, Grossarl also has venues such as the Schirmbar at the base station, where the music and dancing pick up for a lively yet unpretentious nightlife experience. 

While it may not be able to compete with the high-energy nightclubs found in larger resorts, Grossarl's après-ski offerings embody the charm and warmth of Austrian hospitality, making it an ideal spot for those seeking a blend of skiing and subtle après-ski enjoyment.

Grossarl - Ski Rental

As part of the Ski Amadé network, Grossarl offers a variety of ski hire shops to suit both beginners and experienced skiers. These shops offer a wide range of equipment, from the latest ski models to snowboards, ensuring that every visitor can find the right equipment for their level and style of skiing. 

Here are some recommended ski hire shops in Grossarl village:

Intersport Lackner: Located near the main lift stations, Intersport Lackner is known for its quality equipment and excellent customer service. They offer a range of ski and snowboard equipment for all ages and abilities, and their experienced staff are on hand to make sure you get the most out of your skiing experience in Grossarl.

Panorama Ski School & Rental: This local rental shop prides itself on offering top quality equipment and personal service. Whether you're looking for skis, snowboards or even sleds, Skiverleih Panorama has a wide selection to suit your needs. Their team can also advise you on the best equipment for local conditions.

Schuh-Sport Kendlbacher: This family-run shop not only specialises in ski hire, but also offers ski service and sells a range of winter sports accessories. Their friendly staff and competitive prices make them a popular choice for locals and tourists alike.

Each of these shops is committed to providing quality equipment and service to ensure that your time on the slopes is both enjoyable and safe. It's always a good idea to book your equipment in advance, especially during peak season, to ensure availability and to take advantage of any online discounts that may be offered.

Grossarl – Ski Schools and Guided Tours

Grossarl offers a variety of ski and snowboard schools to suit all levels of ability. These schools offer professional instruction aimed at improving technique, ensuring safety and enhancing the overall mountain experience. Here are some recommended ski and snowboard schools in Grossarl:

Panorama Ski School & Rental: This is one of the best ski schools in the area and offers a wide range of lessons for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and abilities. From group lessons that promote a fun and social learning environment, to private lessons tailored to individual needs, Skischule Grossarl's certified instructors are dedicated to helping you achieve your skiing and snowboarding goals.

Skischule Lackner: Known for its friendly and experienced instructors, Skischule Lackner offers a comprehensive learning experience for both beginners and advanced skiers. They offer lessons in skiing, snowboarding and even have special programmes for children to ensure that every member of the family has an unforgettable time on the slopes.

Skischule Toni Gruber: Known for its personalised ski and snowboard tuition, Skischule Toni Gruber offers a range of services including private lessons, group courses, children's courses and advanced training for more experienced skiers or snowboarders. Ski School Toni Gruber focuses on safety, improving technique and ensuring a fun skiing experience.

Each school is staffed by knowledgeable professionals who are passionate about winter sports and committed to providing a safe and enjoyable learning environment. 

Whether you're taking your first steps on the snow or looking to tackle more challenging terrain, these schools can offer you the guidance and support you need to make the most of your time in Grossarl. 

Remember to book your lessons in advance, especially during peak season, to secure your place and take advantage of any early booking discounts that may be available.

Grossarl - Ski tickets

Grossarl is part of the Ski Amadé network, one of the largest ski resorts in Austria. Ski Amadé comprises five major ski resorts, offering access to over 760 kilometres of slopes with just one ski pass. 

This vast network includes not only Grossarl, but also the Salzburger Sportwelt, Schladming-Dachstein, Gastein and Hochkönig ski resorts, offering a wide range of skiing and snowboarding for all levels.

Ski passes for Grossarl and the entire Ski Amadé network can be purchased in a variety of ways:

  • Buy online: Buying your ski pass online is often the most convenient way to avoid queuing at the ticket office. The official Ski Amadé website offers direct purchasing, where you can choose between day passes, multi-day passes and season passes, depending on your needs. You can buy ski passes for the Ski Amade resorts here: https://tickets.skiamade.com/en  
  • Ticket offices: Located at the base of the lifts in Grossarl and throughout the Ski Amadé region. Buying your ticket at the resort gives you last minute flexibility, but be prepared for queues, especially at peak times.

Ski Amadé ticket prices:

Prices for ski passes in the Ski Amadé network vary depending on several factors, including the duration of the pass (day, week, month, etc.), age group (adult, child, senior) and season (high season vs. low season). Prices may also vary from season to season.

  • Day passes: Ideal for short visits or those who just want to try out the slopes. Prices typically range from €50 to €60 for adults in high season.
  • Multi-day passes: These passes offer better value for longer stays and can vary significantly in price depending on the number of days and season. A 6-day pass costs between €300 and €400, depending on the season.
  • Season passes: For those planning to ski extensively throughout the season, these offer the best value but at a higher upfront cost.

For the most accurate and up-to-date prices, it's essential to check the official Ski Amadé website or the specific Grossarl resort website. 

Remember that early bird discounts, family offers and group rates can also affect the final cost of ski passes and offer additional savings opportunities.

Grossarl - Accommodation

The village of Grossarl offers a range of accommodation including hotels, chalets and apartments. Many of these lodgings are family friendly and cater to the needs of skiers and outdoor enthusiasts.

With Exploreo you will find a variety of rental options in Grossarl. These options include ski-in/ski-out properties, chalets and apartments, hotel and B&B options and accommodation for different group sizes.

Each listing on Exploreo.com comes with detailed information about the property, including location, amenities, availability, sustainability and prices. So whether you want to ski from your doorstep or stay in luxury chalets with hot tubs and fireplaces, we have something to suit you.

With Exploreo you can book sustainable accommodation and adventure tours in Grossarl and we'll plant trees to offset the carbon footprint of your booking, enhancing your eco-friendly travel experience in this enchanting winter sports paradise.

Click on the button below to start your search for available properties or contact us directly for personalised recommendations based on your preferences.

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Grossarl – Activities

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Grossarl offers a range of winter activities including tobogganing, cross-country skiing and winter hiking. The region is also renowned for its wellness and spa facilities, offering a relaxing après-ski option.

Click on the button below to start your search for available tours & activities or contact us directly for personalised recommendations based on your preferences.

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Grossarl - In closing

In summary, Grossarl is a lovely ski resort in Austria, known for its family-friendly atmosphere, beautiful natural surroundings and relaxed skiing experience. 

However, if you're looking for a ski resort with a lively nightlife and party scene, you may want to explore other options in Austria. 

Grossarl is more about enjoying the stunning mountain scenery and spending quality time with family and friends in a tranquil alpine setting.

Grossarl - Overall Rating

The overall skiing holiday experience at Grossarl would probably be rated around 7 or 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. It offers a pleasant and family friendly skiing environment, beautiful scenery and a relaxed atmosphere. 

However, the rating may vary depending on individual preferences and expectations. Skiers looking for wide open terrain, challenging pistes and a lively nightlife may rate it lower, while those looking for a more tranquil and family experience may rate it higher.

With Exploreo, you can also book sustainable accommodation and adventure tours in Grossarl, enhancing your eco-friendly travel experience in this enchanting winter sports resort.

Book Sustainable

Please note that the latest information on restaurants, bars, ski hire, ski schools and guided tours is subject to change. We recommend that you check their official websites or contact them directly for the latest information.

Have a great time in Grossarl!

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