Story Swamp Pasquinade: Cornelius Hot-as-the-mid-DAY-sun

Corey Day (short for Cornelius Hot-as-the-mid-DAY-sun) has vague origins but opens up in this vulnerable tell-all about climbing, training, and extracurricular activities. Spoiler alert: sick beta for his mega-futuristic proj, do not read to maintain on-sight potential. He’s a masochistic son-of-a-gun and will tell you all about his escapades in Vedauwoo, so let’s get to know him a little better in this Story Swamp Pasquinade.

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Where are you from and where do you live now? 

Like the granite of Yosemite, I was born deep below the Earth’s surface where my magma pluton cooled slowly giving my skin a fine homogenous texture. After years of glacial erosion, I was exposed to the crust world where I rapidly assimilated and currently reside in Fishtown.

On the Ridgeline summit of Pico de Orizaba.

Ok I doubt that’s true. Anyways, how did you get introduced to climbing/ when did you start getting really into it?

I was a child little-league star at a very young age, they even let me skip T-ball, but I misunderstood what the kids meant by juicing and got too big too fast. Long-story-short, one day I cranked a 3-run homer and the ball came inches from hitting a dog and it yelped like I’d stepped on its toes. That sound haunts me to this day and I never picked up a bat again… *1,000 yard stare into the campfire*

Corey, are you ok? I asked, how did you get introduced to climbing?

Oh, so I started taking hikes to escape that memory but it just wasn’t doing the trick so I started tackling more engaging terrain, swamps, straight through a briar patch, and free soloing up rock walls. Once I realized other people were also going up rock walls and using ropes, I quickly made friends with a crusty old timer that always carried a pint of liquor in his back pocket. He taught me everything he knew about safety and after that 5 minute crash course we set out on many great adventures.

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What’s your swap story about?

Pffffshhh……….. what’s my story swap about? Yeah I’ve got a story but my question is what are we swapping? 

Stories. Did you repeat my question and answer it with a question for a reason?

What are you insinuating? I’ve got a million stories, the best stories you’ve ever heard. On the day of the story swap I will pull out a deck of cards and select an audience member at random to draw a card, then based on that card I’ll select a story to tell. You better hope it's the nine of clubs. 

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Where do you like to climb? 

I like climbing all over the place but I’m mostly inspired by climbing up to any big holes I see in cliff walls. I evaluate each one as a potential shelter in an apocalypse scenario. You see a nice big hole in the cliff wall gives you high ground advantage and can be pretty inconspicuous if they’re deep enough. I have a few favorite climbs that I do up to some different holes and each climb I stash a few cliff bars in there for the end days.

What kind of climbing and/or what other outdoor recreation activities do you like to participate in? 

Mostly noodling, you know catching catfish with your bare hands. Actually that’s how I train for pinch intensive climbs, pinching the bottom jaw a 30 lbs catfish in murky water, makes that greasy tufa pinch 15 ft above your gear feel like child’s play. You ever see the show River Monsters? The host, Jeremy Wade is to fishing what Alec Hommold is to rock climbing.

I’m also into polar bear plunges. My friends and I made up a game called the polar bear and the seals. We each take turns lounging next to an ice hole in our briefs while another person swims about under the ice and tries to swim up out of the hole and drag you in before you can escape. That’s how I train for ice climbing, the waiting around by the hole is a lot like belaying and thrashing for your life and desperately wondering why you got yourself into this is like the rest of ice climbing.

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What are your future goals or big objectives?

Well, over time I’ve found that the sweet climbing nectar I need is the distilled focus required for bouldering, the intensity of that double dyno to a mono-pocket is what really gets me fired up. I’ve bouldered in the V3-V4 range for a while and I’m really looking to break through that plateau so I’ve cobbled together my own boulder problem from existing problems. I’m not sure what I’ll call my new problem but its probably in the V11 range, its actually a kneeling start pull up onto the pink sloper, then invert with double heel hook and grab that good undercling on the blue route, but you’re upside down so you use it as a crimp, invert lock off on that bad boy, bat-hang on the green route telephone hold, turn that into a bicycle-foot lock off with the monkey face hold to upright yourself with a finger lock between two holds on unrelated problems and dyno for the top! I can’t do any single moves yet but the link-ups should come together any day now.

Well I’m not sure what to make of any of this, but I look forward to hearing about your time in Vedauwoo at the Story Swap at Azavea on Wednesday, 9/25 at 7pm!