Ken Nichols Climbs Dol Guldur in Connecticut 10,000 Times

It’s not too often that you hear about someone climbing a route more than a handful of times. Well Ken Nichols — the infamous man behind the bolt wars around the Northeast in the 1990’s — has ticked off his 10,000th ascent of Dol Guldur at East Peak in Connecticut. Col Guldur is one of those classic Connecticut Traprock “5.11” routes. desribes the route as follows:

“I am a bit embarrased to be posting this since after many tries I only managed to do this once during the mid 90’s shortly after Ken Nichols had made his 1000th ascent of the line! I gave it the traditional 5.11 grade, but let me say this is a SOLID 5.11. One might whisper sandbag…”


  • jake says:

    That douchebag shouldn’t get any public visibility except for the massive amount of damage he’s done over the years.

  • Dez says:

    judging by the shape Mr. Nichols is in, I’d say it’s pretty hard to believe this guy climbed this thing 10,000

  • jake says:

    banned from:

    Mother’s Buttress Colorado

    Ragged Mountain Connecticut

    Farley Ledges Massachusetts

    Mormon Hollow Massachusetts

    Rose Ledges Massachusetts

    Chapel Ledges Massachusetts

  • chris says:

    Is it bad when your watching a climbing video and you can’t concentrate because your wondering what percentage of the viewership is also secretly(or maybe not so much) hoping that they get to see the climber deck?

  • chris says:

    “I am a bit embarrased to be posting this since after many tries I only managed to do this once during the mid 90′s shortly after Ken Nichols had made his 1000th ascent of the line!”
    Wow- if 1000 was in the 90’s (or even 1990) wouldn’t that mean he’d need on average to climb it more than once a day every single day to hit 10,000?
    man I would hate to do the same climb every day, but I guess if your banned from everywhere else…

  • Hans says:

    This is nonsense. First off, who counts? Second, Ken is a vandal. But hey, he’s climbing hard for who he is.

  • Joe says:

    We should put a few bolts on the bottom of that climb so that people won’t have to cheat like Ken did. He didn’t officially climb it.

  • John says:

    I agree with Chris. This 10,000 count is a bit hard to believe. From 1990 to 2012: 22 years * 365 days for a total of 8030 days plus the 5 days (give or take 1) of leap days not counted. So even if he hit the 1000 ascent number on Jan. 1, 1990 (and not the mid-90’s as was quoted in the article), he’d have to be climbing this route more than once a day on average for 22 years. Did he really do this (would anyone really want to do this)? Who is counting?

  • Brian says:

    Why the math doesn’t work… He climbs it multiple times each visit. He would go there and climb it ten times counting with little rocks he leaves in a square at the bottom of the cliff then recordining it in his notebook. I saw him climb it ten times one day and down climb it twice. Sure the guy is a bit whacked but there sounds like a bit on envy that a 64 year old guy can kick your ass climbing.

  • Brian Smith says:

    I am unconvinced. Has Climberism or any journal requested and reviewed the records that back up this claim? Have they interviewed his partners? In my opinion, there are too many inconsistencies

    1. The level of protection (3 point anchors) and the actual climbing are not commensurate with someone who has a route wired.
    2. How many climbs did he log in 2005 – 2007 when he was chopping bolts and making court appearances.

  • Jollytime says:

    Mr. Nichols continues to be a polarizing figure…

    Kudos to Climberisms for putting him back in the spotlight. I met him a few times in the 90s in CT and he still seems to have the same effect on people…some love him, some, not so much. In all fairness, Mr Nichols did make huge contributions to the climbing community with countless FAs and a host of spectacular routes. But to me, what he did with the bolt chopping and other shenanigans was over the top because he put people, climbers, me, my friends at risk.

    I wish Mr. Nichols well, but I see no reason to celebrate this as a milestone. To me climbing the same route 10,000 times seems completely mundane no matter the route, the difficulty nor the climber. But that is me.

    I do, however, celebrate the spirit of individuality that climbing embodies and that includes the eccentricities that we all possess. If this is what Mr. Nichols wants to do, great. That said, celebrating individuality is one thing and placing others in harm’s way is another and that is where I personally draw the line.

  • Get Real says:

    Just replying to this quote: .”he put people, climbers, me, my friends at risk:”

    No he didn’t.

    Climbing is inherently risky, that’s why they put those stickers on all the climbing gear, to remind you and your friends of that fact. If you can’t do a route without seeing a bolt every 10 feet, lower off and go train until you can. If that seems harsh, I’m looking forward to your response to the climber who is an even bigger pussy than you that “needs” a bolt every 2 feet before the climb seems un-risky enough for him. How about putting bolt every foot, that would be even less risky, right? How about stepladders, those would be awesomely risk mediating.

    Nobody forces you to climb. Nobody forces you to climb above a bolt to a place where you’re not comfortable. Finally, nobody guarantees you that there will be man made protection at places that “make you comfortable”.

    Retro bolting trad routes is done by pussies looking for shortcuts. Adding MORE bolts to ALREADY bolted routes in order to ‘make a climb less risky’ is done by even bigger pussies.

    I don’te expect you to agree with that, nor do I expect you to train harder and get strong enough to do routes without bolts every 3 feet…..because you’re a pussy.

    Have a nice day.

  • trsdek says:

    Ken is an excellent climber and still going strong in his 60s. I don’t agree with all the bolts and anchors he chops. But sport climbing is destroying rock climbing.

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