“Yosemite just comes alive in the spring,” says Dave Bengston, 44, who has climbed El Capitan 48 times and logged over 1,000 hours on Yosemite rock. “All the plants and animals are moving into the growing season. Although there can still be a bit of water on the north-facing cliffs, there’s such a wealth of wonderful dependable rock and spectacular spots to climb throughout the valley.”
Bengston is director of the Yosemite Mountaineering School. Founded in 1969 and run by the Yosemite Concession Services Corporation, the mountain-climbing school offers one-to multi-day climbing courses out of Camp Curry and Tuolumne Meadows.
For the basic rock climbing class the first couple of hours are spent going over the fundamentals, while the rest of the day is devoted to bouldering and rappelling at Swan Slab, one of the many climbing sites used by YMS in the valley area.