This has been bugging me for quite some time now. It seems like trad climbing has been put up on some sort of holy pedestal and that most new climbers think that you can not trad climb without a 10 year apprenticeship with some crusty old fart followed by massive drinking sessions while praying to a statue of Henry barber. What a load of Bull honkey! Heck I have even seen partner adds where the OP stated that they lead 12 sport and 5.9 trad. Jesus H Godblasted Christ! If I led 5.12 spurt I can Fckn gaurentee you that I would be climbing a heck of a lot harder than 5.9 on gear! Heck there shouldn't be more than a letter grade difference between G rated trad and sport.
When I started climbing there was no sport, it was just climbing and a motavated individual started leading a few months into the game. We followed as many climbs as we could, read a book or two and went out with our very slim racks and practiced putting gear in and hanging on it. We boulderded a bunch as well but without the pads and spotters. When we did have a partner we pooled our racks together and led something.
The two things that I see the most are..
#1. the posse is hanging out top ropeing something reasonably hard. A shiny brand new spotless trad rack is hanging from a tree branch presumably so that everyone passing by will know that they are Real climbers
I got news for you Sunshine. hanging that shiny Xmass presant rack in a tree ain't gonna get the Nooooob shine off of it and turn you into a real climber
The only way that is gonna happen is if you take that shiny rack off the tree branch and lead something EVERY time you go climbing.
#2. this happens at a mostly trad crag with easy TR access. Posse is TR ing and they hit me up with, Doood are there any sport climbs here? all we have are quick draws. Why don't you have any gear? Aww man it's too expensive.
Bullshit! you smoke dope and drink beer every day. Give up the drugs and booze for 3 months and you will have a feckin big wall rack. Heck I went out and got a second job when I started ice climbing. I worked as a mason tender in the day in addition to my reguler dinner shift Line Cook job and saved up enough to buy ice axes, used boots, crampons and screws.
Being a real climber has nothing to do with the mystique of the pink TriCam. Being a real climber has everything to do with your ability to climb a strikeing feature regardless of weather or not it has a line of bolts up it. It ain't rocket science. All it takes is a bit of effort, practice and a sense of adventure