The Itinerant Climbers Collective as born in the mountains of Yunnan Province, a place full of snow-capped mountains and unclimbed walls of limestone, sandstone, and granite. It also happens to be China’s most biologically and ethnically diverse region, full of a constellation of non-Chinese speaking minorities living among the steep forested mountains.
Our goal is to bring you the best outdoor experience out in these hills. This part of China is one that most folks do not get a chance visit. But for those adventurous few, the reward is great, and we love sharing these experiences with others.
Want to find out more about how to get here and get into the mountains. Go check out the ADVENTURES page to find out more!
Ryder Stroud, Founder
Ryder started things about as far away from China and big mountains as possible, growing up in suburban Boston, MA. But after studying Chinese for 8 years and living in the country for 5, he found a home in the mountainous western regions of Yunnan Province.
He started the ICC first as a way of sharing information about the young climbing community growing in Yunnan and in China as a whole, sharing videos and blog posts as a way to show that the country is not just a monster metropolis with which most travelers are familiar.
Since then, he has been training to me a rock climbing guide through the American Mountain Guides Association and working in outdoor education, branching out to take adventurous travelers to the mountains to show them where adventure can still be had in such a crazy, enormous country like China.
He currently lives in Liming, Yunnan in an old, courtyard-style house he shares with his friends and climbing partners.
From the archives, 2015
The Wild West China Team
This nomadic tribe is the core of the ICCs videography, climbing, and production team. Having recently forged deep into the mountains on the Tibetan Plateau, the WWC team put up new multipitch rock climbs in Liming (Yunnan Province), the Litang-Batang Valley (Sichuan Province), Nianbaoyuze/Nyenbo Yurtse (Qinghai/Sichuan Provinces), and Keketuohai (Xinjiang Province).
ICC founder, alpine-obsessed, Fake Asian ("F-Asian")
Ryder is an apprentice guide with the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) and currently lives with the rest of the ICC crew in Dali City, Yunnan, China. His climbing experience spans across some of the great ranges of the US and China, including the Cascades, High Sierra, Lake Tahoe Region, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and the Hengduan Mountains on the eastern edge of the Himalaya.
He is an occasional musician and, despite being half-Chinese, a terrible speaker of Mandarin...
Athlete–Black Diamond, Mad Rock, Dali Bar, Bill Hicks' #1 fan
Mike is one of the most prolific climbing developers in China, if not Asia. He is responsible for developing hundreds of routes in Liming, Yunnan Province, turning the once sleepy cliffs in the western half of the province into a trad mecca for the entire Asian continent. With hundreds of FAs and FFAs to his name, Mike has logged strings of impressive ascents including Diamond in the Witch House (5.13a) and The Viper (5.13a/b). He has also established alpine and multipitch routes in the mountains of the Tibetan Plateau and as far north as Keketuohai canyon in Xinjiang Province.
He may also possess the most encyclopedic knowledge of Bill Hicks' comedy routines among anyone on the Asian continent.
Co-author, Climb China guidebook
Ana is one of the author's of the most comprehensive guidebook on climbing in China. Having spent years as an outdoor instructor in Taiwan and a climbing developed in mainland China, Ana has a wide ranging list of FAs from Liming to Keketuohai, including the FA of The Flake Route (5.12-, 9 pitches) in Keketuohai.
She is also very good at losing her passport in the desert.
Professional climber dirtbag and naked Spaniard
Raúl's dirtbag climbing career spans 20 years across some of the best climbing on the planet, including The Walker Spur on Grandes Jorasses. He has a long list of ascents, free solos, and FAs including The Black Hole (5.9++++++++++), one of Liming's burliest offwidths and, along with Mike Dobie, the FA of The Viper (5.13a/b) in Keketuohai canyon.
He also is racking up an impressive list of FNAs (First Naked Ascents), which excludes even the use of climbing shoes.
Together with Ryder Stroud, the two can create almost one Chinese-speaking brain.
Liberated energy market analyst turned climber and first ascentionist, minor Chinese celebrity
After paying his due working in the office, Dan has gone on to climb at some of the best climbing locations in the world, from Yosemite, CA and the high country of Wyoming to the limestone walls of Vietnam and the sandstone cliffs of Liming. His ascents include establishing The Flake Route (5.12-, 9 pitches) and The Siege of the House Lizards (5.12+, 4 pitches).
He is currently proprietor of the dirtbag home "The Jerke Rig."
He is also popular wherever he visits in China, being the only team member on the WWC team to be able to find a free ride across 1000 kilometers of desert in under 10 minutes.