In late 2010 I was still new to leading trad. I had set a number of goals for myself to help give me motivation and direction for developing my abilities as a climber, and one of those goals was to climb the East Buttress of Middle Cathedral Rock. How does one know when they are appropriately ready for such a long climb?
I usually go about goals in a meticulous and organized way, and in climbing I try to balance being conservative while pushing myself to improve. Since the East Buttress is a popular climb, and a long climb, I didn't just want to hop on it as soon as I could start leading 5.9s, as I wanted to be solid at the grade and be able to lead 5.7-5.8 quickly and without too much effort. So I asked people who had done the route what sort of less committing routes I should do as a progression to and benchmark for knowing when I was ready to tackle the route. Several climbers suggested that when I felt I was ready to go for the route, I should first climb Central Pillar of Frenzy. They said if I could handle that without much problem, and do it in less than half a day, that I should be ready.
Although I had hoped to do these routes with a partner who I could swing leads with, by the Fall of 2011 I had no such luck for these routes. However, by this time I felt strong & confident enough to lead all of the pitches on both routes, and I did have a partner who, while new to trad, had been doing very well following me up some Yosemite cracks and flaring chimneys earlier in the year.