And Stoopid while everyone is entitled to their own opinion and having fun is a very important thing it really does matter how one climbs as there is a significant difference between a bold ground up onsight first ascent and hangdogging a bolted chalked up 5.8. Making these distinctions is hardly a disease on the sport and giving those bold souls their due that had the vision and foresight to put up the routes that we get to enjoy is the least we can do. Recognizing the achievements of others and the style in which they realized those achievements is not a disease but the history and heritage of climbing. To think otherwise is just silly.
That wasn't quite my intent for the rant... has more to do with people who aren't bold speaking like they are, or whose motivations are more ego than climbing centered. The internet is a great place to build rhetorical muscles.
But while we're on the subject - ultimately, who cares who led the FA? Why should the first ascender care unless they did it for glory and their name in neon lights? A pat on the back and on to the next climb should suffice. Anything more is attention seeking. It's not like they sculpted the cliff with their bare hands.
And I walk the walk - there's routes I've cleaned that I will never be mentioned for having worked on for the FA, and routes I've put up another has free climbed for the first ascent. Oh well, I continue to put up routes when and where I can and if it wasn't for the insistence of Haas and Jawyer I'd not even have my name submitted.
I third building strength as being an important tool for leading, and the TR'ing idea was already considered when we did City Lights (our next time climbing was supposed to be TR'ing at Peterskill to up our grade a bit). Coming into this season I was, at best, a 5.5 leader at the gunks. Now I'm closer to being a 5.7 some 5.8s leader (in just a matter of 4 months, using the low hanging fruit idea as GO suggested, climbing 5.5 routes, doing some 5.6s, etc to slowly build my abilities). While I have been slow to push my grade, it has more to do with climbing regularly and getting stronger. Despite 4+ years experience I've only this year actually come to feel confident, and it's showing in my climbing.
Worth is one of the strongest climbers I know, and if anything it's been a detriment since he'll tend to powr his way through tough stretches versus using proper technique (which is improving!). At some point a climber must learn technique or they hit a ceiling (and hopefully not a ledge). So it's really a balance of strength, endurance, and technique. I focus on whatever seems lacking at the moment. For me it's been strength. Pull up board at home is slowly being worked into a daily routine, slow as to not damage any ligments/connective tissue. You can get too strong too fast and develop some very serious tendon issues if you're not careful.