My journey toward climbing
In the early 90's I was doing a lot of solo backpacking in the Sierra. I was gravitating toward non-trail hiking and peak bagging. Some of that peak bagging was starting to get a little "airy" for me (if you know climbing grades, this was probably 2nd or 3rd class terrain at best). So I decided I needed to get some more skill so I'd feel more confident. Then I'd be able to decide better about what I was getting myself into.
My pal and I played hooky from work a few times and took a bunch of classes at the Yosemite Mountaineering School over a spring and summer. On a lightly rainy April day in 1994, guide Doug Nidever showed us how to boulder on these invisible (to me at the time) "rugosities and nubbins" that make up the surface of Yosemite granite. What the heck, it worked! Next day, Dave Bengston (now head of the Mountaineering School) showed us different kinds of crack-climbing techniques and some very basic anchoring. Then he took us up our first real technical climb: Oak Tree Flake and Bay Tree Flake linked together
I was hooked. The view was sublime and I realized that very few people, relatively, ever got to see Yosemite Valley from that vantage point. Many thanks to Doug and Dave, even though they have no idea who I am at this point.