In reply to:
In defense of the underdog.....
This will probably only fuel those character assasinators out there who are bitter about the $50 they lost on bolts, but...
For those who don't know, Ken Nichols is a dogmatic no-bolts climber who will definitely chop any bolts placed on his own routes and will chop bolts on routes in areas where he has established most of the routes. Ken has, in his history, also chopped some areas outside his turf (NH) in retaliation for bolting efforts on his turf. I don't think hes done this for a long time.
I think most climbers would disagree with Ken's chopping outside his climbs, but keep in mind this is a guy who has dedicated his life to developing amazing (and crappy) routes. Ken and Fred Beckey seem pretty similar in my mind. They both live the dirtbag climber life yet Ken climbs much harder and has set more routes (by number probably not length), but Fred gets all the love (see Alpinist article). More specifically Ken has dedicated his life to developing trad lines - I think that is something we can all appreciate. Ken has established over 1,000 routes, written a thorough guidebook, will gladly share a toprope, climbs laps on 5.12 trad (while in his 50's).
I wouldn't typically have written in Ken's defense but there are two factors that nag at me. First, I just climbed Moses tower in Utah and I was amazed at all the manky bolts, bolts next to deep cracks, empty bolt holes, and filled in bolt holes. Kens bolt-free ethic is more sustainable. Second, I'm not familiar with Farley, but pretty much every cliff in New England can be climbed trad or top roped. I really see no need to bolt a 50' line - or a 200' line for that matter.
I don't applaud him for chopping other peoples routes, but i do applaud his lifelong dedictation to setting great routes and maintaining a 'clean ethic' (how many of you would lead dul guldor, how many of you can lead laps on supercrack at the gunks?).