The Itinerant Climbers Collective was born out of the mountains of northwestern Yunnan province, a place blanketed in jungles and dotted with rugged, soaring peaks. Climbing and the outdoor lifestyle are concepts that are just reaching China in a tangible way, as the community is young and growing at lightning speeds.
Alpinism and climbing, especially traditional climbing, occupy a very special place in China, as its novelty brings fascination from enthusiastic, young crowds who have the potential to create a vibrant, ambitious climbing community.
More generally though, climbing and its documentation differentiate themselves in the sense that, unlike many other sports, these pursuits are practiced far from the eyes of the public. There are no crowds. There are no stadiums. The fanfare comes from the personal satisfaction of tackling incredible physical feats dictated by Nature's terms. To experience incredible vistas and sensations in Nature's cathedral is what we seek to capture on this crazy adventure of ours.
At our core, our vision is one of ambitious, collaborative projects profiling both classic climbing locations as well as emerging climbing development in locations such as western China. We are always looking for new people with fresh ideas and a passion for telling these kinds of stories. If you want to get involved, get in touch with us over on our contacts page!
Get psyched. Be safe. Climb hard.
Who We Are
The ICC members are a bunch of wandering, psyched, and slightly crazed climbers wandering the mountainous west of China in search of the next big adventure. See the profiles below.
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.
The Crew from The House of Science, Dali City, Yunnan Province
Living in a century-old Chinese farmhouse in the shadow of the 4000-meter ridge line of the Cangshan Mountains, the folks from The House of Science are some of the driving forces behind sport climbing and bouldering development in the Dali area. Dane and Locky have been working for years bolting sport routes and establishing bouldering areas all throughout the region, including the Shuanglang Crags, Dali wood bouldering, and Shaxi bouldering.
Climbing Area Developer - Bringer of Psych, Poutine (but not really), and Canadian-ness
With his roots in the towering granite fortresses in Squamish and the Bugaboos, Dane has climbed some of the best walls in the world. He has climbed in places from Canada to the US and from India to China. Dane is currently leading the development of sport crags and bouldering areas in Dali, Yunnan, China--one of the few places in China that people still call 'paradise'--for the past few years. He is one of THE people to ask if you are looking for good climbing in Yunnan.
Lachlan "Locky" Carlier
Mellow Aussie and Rock Ninja
A former Australian naval engineer turned climber hardman, Locky is one of the crankers of hard routes in the group. Alongside Dane, Locky has been recently working on developing crags, routes, and bouldering areas in Dali and Xiaxi, Yunnan. His climbing experience ranges from his home in Australia to Sri Lanka, India, and China. He is a fan of brutally hard starts to boulder problems as well as scary highballs. He has also educated the rest of the group of what a "budgy smuggler" means in Australia.
Nicolás "Nico" Cáceres
Resident Crazy Chilean, Super Chef
Nico seems to have found his way from Chilé to China following the path of where good climbing is. Nico has worked as a professional porter among the towers of Patagonia's Torre Range, and has logged quality mileage on both sides of the Pacific, including in the high peaks of the Chilean Andies and the crags and peaks of Australia and China. When he is not climbing hard, Nico is making sure other ICC members do not starve by cooking up some great food.
People and groups who have helped in making these these crazy of ours possible. Find links to our partners' websites and Facebook pages at the bottom of their descriptions.
Climb for Recovery
Founder at Climb for Recovery
Mike is a boulderer with a vision: turning climbing into a means of recovery. His organization, Climb for Recovery (CFR) is a startup working to build roots in the New England area with plans to expand out to the crags and mountains of east and west alike. CFR is looking to bring a novel and game-changing model to recovery treatment: to get recovery out of a strictly clinical setting and to give participants a powerful tool to rebuild, rock climbing.
Past Project Collaborators
Ryan, Desk to Dirtbag
Desk-to-Dirtbag is key for anyone looking to live the epic dirtbag climber life. The site's proprietor, Ryan, has everything from trip reports on major peaks and routes to advice on outfitting trucks to make them livable for life on the road. He also holds the secrets to making some of the best coffee (an important part of climbing life) for breakfast in the backcountry! Desk-to-Dirtbag has helped make major projects like "14505" and "North Country Alpine" possible. His site is your go-to place for anything and everything on living the outdoor dream! Visit his site:
Western Yunnan's premiere guide service and outfitter. They have a comprehensive guide service for adventurers of all levels: from rock climbing to hiking and cycling to kayaking. They also just expanded to a new location with a boulder bar and pizza restaurant called Goodfellas Pizza! They are a great all-around service and offer great ways to get off the tourist-beaten paths in the region. You can check out their website:
With itineraries all over China from Yunnan and Sichuan to Inner Mongolia and Zhejiang, Keystone Adventures specializes in outdoor education and cultural tours for public schools, international schools, companies, and private groups alike. Their tours are custom-built to fit each group's needs and provides a rewarding experience for groups of all ages. Check out Keystone's Website: