Climb Newcastle News: Five Memorable ASBO Moments

We've picked out five of the most memorable ASBO moments, from a behind the scenes perspective:

Climb Newcastle News

The setters mess up; Callender crushes anyway

Traditionally, the second of the 3 problem final is the hard one and most of the time this is where we let Andy loose to create something powerful! 2011 was a particularly hotly-contested men's final, in which Nigel Callender set himself up for victory with a superb ascent of this 30 degree monstrosity, which was near-untouched by his fellow competitors. The problem involved some campusing, followed by a brutal undercut move. Nige's face says it all.

Climb Newcastle News

It wasn't until the competition ended that the full gravity of the ascent was realised. The setting team test the final problems several days before the competition itself, putting the holds up for testing, marking them, and then taking them down again, to be reinstated during the isolation period. When Chris and Andy Porter (left) put the holds back on before the final they cocked up big time, placing the undercut rail nearly 12 inches higher than it was meant to go.

Climb Newcastle News

As far as we know, the problem was never climbed again. It was one of those adrenaline-fueled ascents that had to be in the moment. Nigel went on to win the competition for the second time. He was quite pleased as you can see...

Climb Newcastle News

A year later at the Star Wars themed ASBO 12, an equally difficult problem 2 nearly put an end to Nigel's career.

He returned to the competition at ASBO 16, finishing in 4th and currently still sits on top of the Climb Newcastle Honours Board.


Climb Newcastle News

Tracy sees off... everything!

When Michaela Tracy qualified for the ASBO 17 final, she did so with a quite outstanding score. So much so that the setting team desperately adjusted the Climb Newcastle News final problems to make them harder, including almost completely rebuilding problem 3 during the course of the half hour isolation period, to create an elaborate traverse of the roof lip, with a delicate finish to turn through a large volume. Of course Michaela flashed this, and everything else.


Climb Newcastle News

Get your eyes tested, youngster!

Climb Newcastle News

Jonah Vinsome was the wunderkind of ASBO 13. But he needed his eyes testing when he missed the final foothold of the last problem. Leaping for the finish hold, Jonah spun headfirst for the mats, as Chris on the mic quipped, "Ooh, you Vinsome and you lose some!" Fortunately for Jonah, and the "concerned" crowd he nearly landed on, he walked to have another go, and take the ASBO title in (more) style!

Those crowd reactions though...


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Sid takes flight

In the dark ages of 2011, Climb Newcastle MD Andy Earl, recovering from a stroke, watched on from a Skype call as a depleted setting team dealt with a junior/senior mix for the women's final. We'd seen this coming, of course, by taking the high ground that the ASBO was breaking down age barriers. But seeing local 13 year old Sid Graham prepare for the emotional final with her elders made for a nervy final behind the scenes. Were the holds too far apart...? Aargh!

Sid didn't disappoint. On problem 1 she started the engines and took flight, incredibly double dynoing through the crux section to the delight of the crowd.

3 years later, after just turning 16, Sid would go on to be crowned ASBO 14 champion, and this year, despite sitting on the sidelines due to injury, she is star of the ASBO 17 poster.

Climb Newcastle News
Climb Newcastle News

Coley's backflip

As a routesetter it's often possible to foresee great moments, given the right timing and talented climbers. However, during the men's final of 2017, youngster Orrin Coley surprised every single person in the room with his incredible treatment of the crux move on men's problem 3.

It was, frankly, suicidal; had we known what he was about to do, we probably would have read Orrin the BMC participation statement and escorted him from the premises. As it was, Orrin's astonishing backflip - there's no other words to describe it really - went down in ASBO folklore.

This was one of the few problem 3s to remain unclimbed, which only really adds to the legend. Check it out...



ASBO 17 takes place on May 12th.