Kryptek Altitude Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

North

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I had the chance to use a full 11 piece set of Kryptek Altitude clothing for 2+ weeks in Montana from late September through early October. Conditions ended up being very rainy, snowy, and occasionally pretty windy, with temps running from 15 degrees to 60. Here is my experience.

I've used mostly Sitka/First Lite in the past, but I discovered the Altitude system when searching for quality raingear, which was one piece I did not have in a real "hunting" brand. Around home, I've always used an ill-fitting set of US military surplus GoreTex raingear, and for backpack hunting (which I just started doing last year, but don't worry, I've been wearing clothes most of my adult life so I feel qualified to write this review) I just carried a set of Marmot Precip nylon raingear. I was torn between buying a lighter, packable set of raingear with possibly suspect durability and waterproofness, or a more bombproof, but heavy, hardcore set of Alaskan-grade stuff. It was a tough decision because I live in Wisconsin where it can get pretty wet and the thick, underbrush-laden woods can tear gear apart, but in Montana where I elk hunt it's usually pretty dry and the woods are easier to maneuver without too much damage to clothing. With even the lighter, more packable raingear such as First Lite's Vapor running a few hundred bucks, I didn't love the idea of spending that much on something I wouldn't be comfortable wearing regularly or that wouldn't serve all of my needs.

At one point I must have made the mistake of searching "best hunting raingear" or something, and Kryptek's Takur raingear set started popping up. Of course, along with the discussions of how this stuff was the most fantastic, technologically-advanced raingear around, there was also always a mention (often with expletives and audible gasping) of the high price point; $700 for the jacket and $600 for the pants.

Well, once I went down the research rabbit hole, I eventually convinced myself that I wasn't going to be happy with anything but the Takur jacket. Luckily, (or possibly unluckily, depending on how you look at it) Kryptek was running a sale where if you spent a certain amount (I'll be keeping that amount a secret in case my wife stumbles across this) on Altitude gear you could get a large discount on the purchase price. Initially, I decided I could get by with just the Takur jacket and gaiters, but after receiving my first order and falling in love with the stuff I received, I was back on the phone with Kryptek begging to have my discount extended to a second order....and then a third.

The set I ultimately ended up with is as follows with weights and retail prices. I am 6'1" 180 lbs with 32/32 pant measurements and a 44-inch chest. Despite not having too big of a frame I generally wear a large shirt/jacket due to shoulder/back width. Weights are mine, not Kryptek's.

Ghar Jacket (Large) 1 lb .9 oz $299.99
Arma Fleece Beanie 1.3 oz $34.99
Arma Fleece Neck Gaiter 1.7 oz $34.99
Arma Fleece ½ Zip (Large) 14.1 oz $129.99
Arma Hoodie (Large) 1 lb 5.7 oz $169.99
Takur Gaiter (Medium) 9.3 oz (pair) $189.99
Takur Pant (Med Reg) 1 lb 3.3 oz $599.99
Takur Jacket (Large) 1 lb 8.9 oz $699.99
Tora Ball Cap 2.5 oz $59.99
Tora Gloves 3.0 oz (Large-pair) $89.00
Tora Pant 32/32 1 lb 3.5 oz/1 lb 4.1 oz with kneepads) $299.99

The Good

Everything I got with the set fit me perfectly. If anything, the jackets were slightly long, running well past my waist and partially over my hands. In my opinion, this is perfect, because if there is any shrinkage down the road the arms won't get too short and my tramp stamp won't hang out when I bend over. I could see a guy a few inches taller than me fitting into this stuff fine, and Kryptek does offer tall sizes as well. Sorry, but if you're short, it appears Kryptek hates you.

The camo pattern and colors on the set are awesome. The Altitude set is designed for above-treeline sheep hunts, something I likely will not be doing anytime soon as my finances will be tied up in paying off all of my new Altitude gear, but the mix of dark greens and stone greys are perfect for the somewhat rocky evergreen woods I hunt in Montana. Kryptek uses a different process for applying the camo print to the Altitude line than most hunting clothing manufactures, and the result is the coloration seems richer and more vibrant somehow. Will it be the perfect camo for fall and winter treestand hunting in Wisconsin? Probably not, but I'll still look cool as hell up there!

The entire set, when worn together, was not constrictive or bunched-up feeling at all. Kryptek calls the cut "athletic," but on my frame, it wasn't super form-fitting, but not billowy or square-looking either. If all of the pieces were hugging me like a wetsuit I doubt they would have layered as well; even when layered up like an onion with a base layer, 2 fleece jackets, a puffy and a rain jacket over the top I felt perfectly comfortable.

The Arma pieces are a grid fleece with a blend of a small amount of merino wool with synthetic fiber. It's not the lightest material (compare the Arma Hoodie in large at 1 lb 5.7 oz to my Sitka Core Heavyweight Hoodie at 14.8 oz) but it's comfortable, warm, and fast-drying. It even blocks the wind pretty well for a fleece. My one complaint on my Sitka Core Hoodie is the lack of handwarmer pockets, so the huge zippered pockets on the Arma hoodie are quite welcome. The zipper zips to right under the chin but does not offer any facial concealment. The Arma 1/2 Zip is the same material, and the omission of pockets and hood give it the benefit of reduced weight and cost but make it a less versatile piece. Having both, I'd likely only use the Arma 1/2 zip as a layering piece, whereas the hoodie would be something I'd throw on by itself in moderately cool weather for a trip to the store or for working outside. The Arma beanie and neck gaiter offer no game-changing features, but they're made of the same grid fleece as the rest of the Arma set. I've never used a neck gaiter much before but on this trip I found it to be a fast and simple way to increase or decrease warmth while on the move without having to stop and remove my pack to drop a layer, almost as much so as the beanie hat.

The Takur pieces are everything people have been saying about them and lived up to the hype for me. Had the trip turned out to be less wet they probably would have sat there in my pack taking up space and leaving a hole in my checking account with no benefit, but luckily (or unluckily, depending on how you look at it) this was one of these trips where having real raingear paid for itself on the first day. Could I have stayed dry with my Precip nylon raingear? Maybe, but the Takur material is so breathable that I just ended up wearing the jacket every day, rain or shine. While it's not like I didn't sweat, I never once had to stop to remove it because I felt like I was getting too stuffy or overheated.

Kryptek recommended I wash it 2-3 times to start breaking it in and quieting it down, and after 2 washes I didn't feel it was unacceptably noisy whatsoever. Now, there's no doubt a trad bow guy out there who thinks hunting in nothing but a moleskin loincloth is too noisy, but for the level of rain protection you're getting I can't imagine the volume level disappointing most bowhunters.

I wore the gaiters daily as well, and they are easy to get on and off and did their job. The webbing which is supposed to hold down the loose end of the bootstrap is placed too high for the strap to actually reach it, which is a little weird, but I didn't have any problems with it. I did wear the rain pants several times, and I didn't notice any breathability issues at all. In fact, on warmer days I wore them directly over my synthetic longjohns as my only pants. My only complaint on the pant is that you only get 2 zippered front pockets with no back or cargo pockets, but you're lucky to get any pockets at all in rain pants, so I found it acceptable. I experienced no snagging, stitching issues, or obvious abrasion of any kind on any of the Takur gear. After a wash, it all still looks new, including the gaiters, which were covered in mud and kicking brush and tree limbs for 150+ miles. The material takes on no water at all, so the surface stays completely dry, requiring no hang time at the end of the day to be ready for more in the morning.

The Ghar jacket is the one piece I didn't get to use since I had a different puffy on hand for doing camp chores and cooking at night when the weather was the coldest. I love the fit and feel of the jacket. It has a DWR and CIRE finish (which is a waxy coating making it silky smooth to the touch) and uses insulation mapping with synthetic material in areas likely to get soaked with water and real down everywhere else. The Puffy Police have already issued an arrest warrant for Kryptek for not including a hood on the Ghar, but I don't miss having a hood. I'd consider this a midseason puffy and I already have a beanie plus the hoods on the Arma hoodie and Takur jacket, and no hood means less bulk and weight making it an easier decision to pack this puffy "just in case." The only days I got cold enough to wish I had the puffy along I'd left it back at camp to have more room for air in my pack.
 
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North

North

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And now, for the bad and the ugly, all rolled into one.

The Tora gear is Altitude's more early-season weight gear which uses Schoeller Dryskin fabric, which is a different material than the other pieces in the line. The pants are pretty badass-looking, with aggressive, angular lines that let everyone know you spent $300 on some cool pants. The zippered leg cuffs are going to upset anyone who wants to adjust the hem, but luckily Kryptek apparently designed these pants using my legs as their model and they fit me perfectly, so I'm fine with it. Despite not being categorized as a rain pant at all, the material sheds water well, and I don't believe the pants ever really got fully penetrated by rain even when it was pouring. I did take a fun little trip down a wet log into a creek and in that case the material soaked through right quick, but it dried remarkably fast. I loved the removable kneepads which caused a little sweating at times but were worth it when crawling under beetle-killed trees. The built-in suspender loops inside the waistband are a cool feature, however, Kryptek's 3-band suspenders were sold out at the time I ordered, and when using Sitka's more traditional 4-band suspenders I had to use the pant loops anyway. Either way, this was my first year hunting with suspenders and they are 100% the way to go as long as you can keep your cool during the onset of an emergency dump.

Sadly, within 3 days of starting to hunt, holes started to appear in one of the back pockets and the stitching started coming loose on the same pocket. Hm, must have taken a bad spill onto a jagged branch I don't remember. Oh well, just some bad luck, right? Nope! Now holes are starting to form in the other back pocket, and the stitching has split in the crotch in not one, not 2, but 3 places! This is in the same area and terrain that I hunted last year in my $50 Prana Zion yoga pants, the very same pants which are my backup pants for this trip and have still yet to lose a stitch.

The Tora gloves feature the same Schoeller Dryskin fabric used in the other garments in the Tora line coupled with a full Oil Tac leather palm. Designed for early season hunting where protection and grip are the primary objectives over warmth, the fingers are well-vented with both a durable mesh and small perforations in the leather. The Oil Tac leather helps provide a positive grip on slick surfaces such as a wet bow or gun, however, the same stickiness is also felt on the fingertips inside the glove, which takes a little getting used to. Embossed Kryptek pattern scales provide some cool-looking knuckle protection on the backside of the hand while leather protects the palm and inner fingers with a double layer on the palm. With the gloves' generous venting they aren't designed to be waterproof, but during heavy rains, my hands were kept mostly dry. The moisture problems I did have were more due to sweat caused by the leather palms' lack of breathability and the slow drying of the leather. They did provide a bit of warmth when needed but are certainly not much of an insulating glove. And hey, they're even touchscreen compatible. When I first tried on the gloves I was impressed with the quality leather on the palm, which is generously beefy for a lightweight early season hunting glove. I'd have no qualms about subjecting these to a little actual work, like pounding tent stakes or splitting wood around camp. I was a little suspect of the mesh material used on the fingers, which looked like it would start falling apart due to snags in about 10 minutes, but the mesh held up well.

The stitching, however, didn't, and my left glove developed a good ½ inch separation between the leather and Dryskin fabric with only light use. Should have stuck with the tried-and-true $25 Mechanix Mpact (in multicam, of course).

The baseball cap is nice. You already have a few dozen camo baseball caps, and this one costs $60, so it's up to you how important having a fully matching kit is. Hey, it didn't fall apart like the pants and gloves did, so maybe it's worth it!

So, unfortunately, the durability on the pants and gloves just isn't there, and while Kryptek has a 1-year warranty and I absolutely will be sending these items in, I'll still be left with replacement gear that is being advertised as the ultimate in durability yet is going to fall apart like a $8 pair of made-in-Myanmar tactical pants from eBay.

Another criticism is that at the time I ordered Kryptek wasn't doing a great job of explaining the features to justify such a high price point for hunting clothing. Some of their website descriptions had typos, listed some contradictory information, and not all of the items had video explainers. Since then, they have been adding some more videos to their website and social media pages about the items in the line, which is probably a good idea if they want to convince hunters to spend $2,000-3,000 on an outfit. When ordering direct their shipping prices seemed a little high and they charge sales tax on out-of-state orders. Black Ovis carries Kryptek and offers free shipping and does not charge sales tax for out-of-staters, but they were sold out of the sizes I needed at the time I ordered.

On the plus side, Kryptek was always great on the phone and over email and was cool enough to let me keep ordering more stuff at a discount after meeting the threshold with my first order and even let me sneak in one more order after the sale was over. The return process was relatively painless and they didn't give me a hard time about the warranty issues outside of requesting photos, which seems standard.

So, is it worth it? Well, the conundrum with trying to answer that question is that the most expensive items in the line are also the most innovative and unique. With the right sale, the Arma items compete price-wise with the equivalent Sitka or First Lite pieces, but it's going to take a pretty deep discount to get that Takur down to anything under "splurge" level. The Takur raingear is, however, the bell of the ball here. But the jacket and pants are going to run you $1300 plus tax and shipping. That's a lot of money even if you hunt in rainy conditions, much less to spend on a "what-if" scenario.

But let's look at it this way; any good set of raingear is going to cost you something. Sitka and First Lite flagship equivalents are going to run around $600 a set. Kryptek also runs sales pretty frequently, and when they do, the discounts can be substantial. So let's assume you can get a full set of Takur for 25% off. Ouch, it's still $975 for a set! But it's only $375 more than First Lite. And it's breathable and durable enough that you can wear it as an outer shell, so you don't have to buy and carry a second piece for that position in your layering system. And how much are you spending on tags, gas, etc? Good raingear is going to not only going to keep you out of your tent hunting and increase your odds, but it's going to make your trip much more enjoyable when you need it. Of course, you could probably stay dry and hunt hard in a set of massively oversized military surplus GoreTex like I have been wearing for years, too. But, unfortunately, getting old is a bitch.

If I had to do it again, I'd do it. However, I might consider going with the Bora pant and skipping the Takur and Tora pants. (Well, I'd skip the Tora pants anyway.) Bora is their soft shell line, but supposedly, the fabric on the Bora stuff is the same as on the Takur raingear, just not seam-sealed so it's not considered fully waterproof. I'm guessing unless you're working on a commercial crab fishing boat or live on the ocean floor or something you could get by with the Bora pants as both your raingear and everyday hunting pant, with the benefit of having 4 pockets over the Takur pant's 2, no full-length leg zippers for weight savings, and not having to layer 2 pairs of pants to stay dry. You could also seam seal them yourself if water invasion became an issue.

After the raingear, the other item I'd look hard at is the Ghar jacket. Yeah, I haven't used mine, but it's a piece I could see hitting the sweet spot of warmth, packability, and features for most puffy users. Just try to find it on sale.

As far as the other items, am I glad I have them? Yes. Did I sell off some of my First Lite stuff which became redundant when I picked up the Kryptek stuff? Yes. But at full retail, I don't think you're getting a massive amount of quality benefit over Sitka, First Lite, or even Kryptek's lower-priced lines (that stuff is nice, too!) for the money. If you geek out over gear and want something different and innovative, I'd go for it if it's on sale. Heck, if you're a rich guy or a 19-year-old with their first credit card, go for it at full retail. Just avoid the Tora pants until they introduce the new 2.0 version with improved stitching for only $500 more.
 

Kotaman

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I have almost all of those same pieces and concur with your review 100%.

The rain gear is the best in class for sure. The Gahr is one of my favorite puffy’s. If it had a hood, it would be my favorite. I like the Arma stuff.

i haven’t seen the wear issues on my Tora pants but I haven’t wore them a ton as I have a hard time wearing them over my Timberlines on a mountain hunt.

Great thoughts/review...
 
OP
North

North

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Kryptek just started running a 40% off all Altitude sale plus they are doing free shipping. Also, their 30% off all gloves sale stacks with the 40% off on the Altitude gloves.
 
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North

North

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Nice. I really wanted to pick up the Bora pants but limited myself to just the Bora mitts, Arma Tech 1/2 zip, a blaze vest for gun season and an Altitude pattern pack cover.
 

KHNC

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Still sucks i bought my Altitude stuff at 100% full price last year! They wouldnt even let me use the Mil discount on Altitude. But i love it. My Tora pants , shirt and jacket have held up well so far. They are about to be out of warranty, so hopefully the pants dont take a dump this fall!
 
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North

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Ah, bummer! The downside of running good sales is everyone who paid full price feels ripped off. I'm hoping my experience with the Tora pants was a fluke because I did love them until they fell apart.
 
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North

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Sportsman’s Warehouse has some Altitude stuff on sale at better prices than the 40% off Kryptek is running plus free shipping. Note that their item names don’t all include “Altitude” so you’ll need to search up “Kryptek” to find all of it. Also Active Junky has 4% cash back at Sportsman’s so log in there first. Couldn’t help but pick up the Bora pants.
 

Kotaman

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Loving the Bora pants. Could’ve saved $50 via Sportsman’s though! So it appears as though only three people are wearing this stuff? 🤣
 

Fishhunt223

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I just ordered a set of Altitude gear, based on your review. But I am a little upset after comparing the weights of the Arma line that kryptek posted in another thread, to your actual weights.

Here is what was posted by (presumably) a Kryptek employee in this thread: https://www.rokslide.com/forums/threads/kryptek-altitude-complete-lineup-review-thread.141685/

Weighed items are a size large jackets and shirts and 34 regular in pants....

Arma tech 1/2 zip-8oz

Arma tech gridfleece 1/2 zip-8oz

Arma tech gridfleece hoodie-15oz

Ghar jacket-14oz

Tora jacket-16oz
Tora pant-24oz

Bora jacket-24oz
Bora pant-16oz

Takur jacket-24oz
Takur pant-24oz
 

KHNC

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I just ordered a set of Altitude gear, based on your review. But I am a little upset after comparing the weights of the Arma line that kryptek posted in another thread, to your actual weights.

Here is what was posted by (presumably) a Kryptek employee in this thread: https://www.rokslide.com/forums/threads/kryptek-altitude-complete-lineup-review-thread.141685/

Weighed items are a size large jackets and shirts and 34 regular in pants....

Arma tech 1/2 zip-8oz

Arma tech gridfleece 1/2 zip-8oz

Arma tech gridfleece hoodie-15oz

Ghar jacket-14oz

Tora jacket-16oz
Tora pant-24oz

Bora jacket-24oz
Bora pant-16oz

Takur jacket-24oz
Takur pant-24oz
So what are you upset about actually? What were your actual weights?
 
OP
North

North

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I just ordered a set of Altitude gear, based on your review. But I am a little upset after comparing the weights of the Arma line that kryptek posted in another thread, to your actual weights.

Here is what was posted by (presumably) a Kryptek employee in this thread: https://www.rokslide.com/forums/threads/kryptek-altitude-complete-lineup-review-thread.141685/

Weighed items are a size large jackets and shirts and 34 regular in pants....

Arma tech 1/2 zip-8oz

Arma tech gridfleece 1/2 zip-8oz

Arma tech gridfleece hoodie-15oz

Ghar jacket-14oz

Tora jacket-16oz
Tora pant-24oz

Bora jacket-24oz
Bora pant-16oz

Takur jacket-24oz
Takur pant-24oz

I threw a couple of pieces on my postal scale again to make sure I hadn’t goofed and everything was within .1 ounce of my previous weights. I don’t have any way of verifying my scale but I do send 100s of packages a year using it and haven’t had any come back for more postage.
It’s strange their weights are close to mine in some cases and are well off in others. I can say with certainly there is no way the Arma Hoody weighs within an ounce of the Ghar puffy—the hoody is noticeably heavier.
Either way, none of the gear feels heavy with the exception of the Arma Hoody as I mentioned in my review, but more weight in a fleece=more insulation and less need to layer multiple pieces. The rain gear and puffy feel light for the amount of protection you get. I think you’ll still be super happy with the gear, and my apologies if my weights are not 100% accurate.
 

Fishhunt223

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I threw a couple of pieces on my postal scale again to make sure I hadn’t goofed and everything was within .1 ounce of my previous weights. I don’t have any way of verifying my scale but I do send 100s of packages a year using it and haven’t had any come back for more postage.
It’s strange their weights are close to mine in some cases and are well off in others. I can say with certainly there is no way the Arma Hoody weighs within an ounce of the Ghar puffy—the hoody is noticeably heavier.
Either way, none of the gear feels heavy with the exception of the Arma Hoody as I mentioned in my review, but more weight in a fleece=more insulation and less need to layer multiple pieces. The rain gear and puffy feel light for the amount of protection you get. I think you’ll still be super happy with the gear, and my apologies if my weights are not 100% accurate.
Thanks for verifying. I’ll likely stick with a hoodie I already own, but I expect I will be very happy with the bora line.
 

robby denning

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Super review North!!!!!

I have all those pieces and concur: top notch rain gear and the Arma stuff performs close to merino in stinkproof and warmth(almost). Love my Gahr but do miss a hood. It’s pushing 20 days and has two burn holes from the woodburner but that’s my fault.

Although my Tora pants are over 25 days now (of pant-hell) and holding up a bit better than yours. I got tangled in some down fall and poked a hole in the leg but that was about day 7 and the hole is still the same 3/8” long:


I just checked the seat and do see more than a few loose threads

But nothing coming apart, yet.

I did also notice the same seam separation in the Tora you did. But it hasnt come apart.

*10/27/19 update. Looking at that original thread of Matt’s and mine, I saw where @C.Ryan commented that this stretch in the seams exposing the threads doesn’t mean it’s failing or will fail-it’s due to the stretch. Ok fair enough, and as I pointed out, no failures. But I can sure see why people with panic when they start seeing that happen in a brand new pair of expensive pants.

If I didn’t send them back for warranty, I would say a guy is going to get 1 to 2 seasons out of these pants.

Thanks for taking the time to write the review!




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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North

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I just checked the seat and do see more than a few loose threads

But nothing coming apart, yet.
Thanks for the kind words, Robby! That’s the same type of separation I experienced in both of my back pockets and in several places in the crotch. For me it started within a few days of hunting. I agree it’s not going to end anyone’s hunt, but I just haven’t experienced any other pants having the stitching come apart so quickly. Pants are one of those things that you can always find a few negative reviews regarding durability for no matter the brand because they do take a beating. Hopefully others are getting better mileage out of their Tora gear than I did. Still enthusiastic about the set as a whole, eager to get the Bora pants I just ordered!
 

Sadler

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Washington
Just got the bora mitts so I figured I’d share this info with the other five people that are using this stuff.
It’s just a shell, no insulation. They’re pretty roomy but they fit perfectly over my first lite brooks mitts. Both sets are size medium. EE24541B-92E0-4584-B194-F43EBC17E777.jpeg 68205C20-A9BE-46C9-AF94-875ED20CD953.jpeg 3146A84A-708C-4618-AA89-ED6107DBDC32.jpeg 87A77793-FA21-4253-9C70-F2311D3E1B8D.jpeg EE24541B-92E0-4584-B194-F43EBC17E777.jpeg
 
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North

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