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If you pass someone that is going in the direction where you are going, and you want to know some information about the area you are going to, than you also include it in your question, something like: Excuse me, my plan is going to go to place X, do you know if it is flooded? Than the other knows immediately you are not 'nosy' about his activities, but ...


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Also as someone said above, when going down the vision is better than for people goin down. In addition, if a bigger group has to pass another bigger group, the group going down can much more easy anticipate on having to pass the other group and find a suitable spot to stop. This is much harder to see for a group going up. And while the group going down ...


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