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It’s my 22nd birthday, dusk is creeping up, and my partner, Thomas, and I are ⅞ of the way up East Dix, a 1,227 meter peak in New York’s Dix mountain range. We started hiking at 9 a.m (8:56 a.m. for those of us who, like me, are pedantic) and it has been roughly 9 hours since then. We were supposed to hit the ridgeline 5 hours ago. Instead, it’s leering at us, still out of reach. We’re sore, we’re hungry, and we’re just about out of water for another 4 hours until our iodine tablets dissolve and we can safely consume the stream water we filled our bottles with. My phone is getting patchy reception, and every now and again it pings as another friend sends another aggravating birthday message. “Happy birthday! Hope you’re having fun in the mountains!” It’s as though the entire island of Montreal is mocking me one at a time on my Facebook wall...