Climbing Programs

I am currently an apprentice rock guide through the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA). I work as an instructor for Climb Dali and Keystone Adventures in Dali City in western Yunnan Province, China. This area, along with Sichuan to the north, offer everything from tall peaks to new crags and boulders to develop. West China is the place to be for climbers looking for a true adventure!

My guiding model is one committed to a high quality of care, emphasizing pedagogy and a constructive teaching experience in which people come away not only with a thrilling, rewarding experience in an incredible location, but also the skills necessary to develop themselves into a better climbers. 

See you in the hills!

Ryder

A special China perk:

For foreigners traveling and climbing in China, the Chinese landscape is often experienced through the windows of planes, trains, and hired cars. While this travel can be economical, it often makes China's wild, remote, incredibly beautiful landscapes very hard to visit. The west of the country is vast, with few highways and major roads servicing these regions, and a vast majority of foreigners in the country do not have access to private transportation. I am one of the few foreigners with my own ride! This opens up incredible possibilities to travel to the remote regions of China that few non-Chinese have traveled to!

Who I am:

I am a rock climber and aspiring alpinist with 10 years experience covering a broad array of geography. I have climbed in China's Daxue Shan Range in Sichuan Province, China, the Nianbaoyuze Range of Qinghai Province, China, Liming, Yunnan Province, California's High Sierra, Washington's Cascade Range, the desert towers of Moab and Indian Creek, Lake Tahoe, New Hampshire's White Mountains, New York's Shawangunks, among others.

But most importantly, I am a climber who thoroughly enjoys the experience of teaching others in the sport. 


Programs Offered

Programs scheduling are offered on a client-by-client basis. Email j.ryder.stroud@gmail.com for more information.

Climbing Classes: 

Learn to Sport Lead

Get on Gear: Intro to Trad Climbing

The Bigger Adventure: Multipitch Climbing

Basic Self-Rescue

Destination Climb: Haba Xueshan (哈巴雪山 || 5396m/17807 ft.)  Download the Haba sample itinerary and packing list here

Custom Classes (Custom classes can also be used to book climbing, hiking, trekking, or trail running programs or any combination of those programs--descriptions to come)

(See class descriptions below)

 


Learn to Sport Lead

Ever wonder what it's like to hop onto the proverbial "sharp end" and lead a route? This class is designed for folks who have toprope experience and have an interest of leading sport routes.

In this course, you will learn:

- The safety systems for leading (and handy mnemonics for remembering them)

- Dynamic belays

- Leading hazards: back clipping, Z-clipping, back-stepping

- Belaying hazards: short roping, excess slack, the dreaded "ass hat"

- Mock leading

- Anchoring and preparing to clean a route

- Single-pitch rappelling

Course Info

Duration: 2 days

Maximum student to instructor ratio: 4:1, 2:1 or 4:1 recommended

Total Class Cost: 1:1 ratio: ¥1000/$163 (¥500 or $81.50) || 2:1 ratio: ¥700/$113 (¥350 or $56/day per person) || 3:1 ratio: ¥600/$98 (¥300 or $49/ day per person) || 4:1 ratio: ¥500/$81 (¥250/$40.50/day per person)


Get on Gear: Introduction to Trad Climbing

Location: Liming, Yunnan

This class will take place in China's trad climbing capital: Liming. These sandstone cliffs, an aesthetic combination of Indian Creek and Squamish, are THE location to climb on gear in the country. Splitter stone, beautiful views, and authentic Chinese culture (of the Lisu minority who populate the area) make for one of the most memorable locations to climb in.

This class is designed to take you from the bolts of sport climbing and into the realm of leading in traditional style, that is on gear. While much more difficult than top roping and sport climbing, traditional climbing is an incredible tool for opening up terrain available to climbing. Without the limiting factor of a pre-bolted cliff, you will be able to adventure onto a greater variety of walls and crags. This class focuses on climbing in settings where lowering off a climb is the primary means of descent.

In this course, you will learn: 

- Basic traditional rope systems

- Cleaning gear following a leader.

- Placing gear efficiently and effectively on lead.

- Mock leading single pitches.

- Leading on gear in a single pitch setting.

- Rappelling single pitches.

Course Info: 

- Duration: 2 days

- Maximum student to instructor ratio: 2:1

- Total Class Cost: 1:1 ratio: ¥1800/$195 (¥900 or $150/day) || 2:1 ratio: ¥1500/$130 per person (¥750 or $112/day per person)––NB: This price INCLUDES travel to and from Liming (usually originating in Dali)


The Bigger Adventure: Multipitch Trad Climbing

Location: Liming, Yunnan

This class will take place in China's trad climbing capital: Liming. These sandstone cliffs, an aesthetic combination of Indian Creek and Squamish, are THE location to climb on gear in the country. Splitter stone, beautiful views, and authentic Chinese culture (of the Lisu minority who populate the area) make for one of the most memorable locations to climb in.

This is a class designed for those who already have some experience placing gear on lead in a single pitch setting but want to advance their skills to open up the opportunity of multipitch climbing. These skills are crucial for managing you and your partner for much longer days out climbing. Climbs will generally be from 2-4 pitches in length.

In this class, you will learn:

- Multipitch rope systems

- Leading in a multipitch setting

- Routefinding

- Route evaluation: hazard assessment (terrain assessment, routefinding difficulties, belay station choice/assessment)

- Belay station management and transitions

- Transitions to rappelling, rappelling in a multipitch environment

- Leadership in the vertical environment: coaching and communication

Class information:

Duration: 3 days

Maximum student to instructor ratio: 2:1

Total Class Cost: 1:1 ratio ¥2200/$350 (¥733 or $106/day)  || 2:1 ratio: ¥1800/$289 (¥600 or $97/day)–NB: This price INCLUDES travel to and from Liming (usually originating in Dali)


Intro Self-Rescue Class

Location: Liming, Yunnan

This class will take place in China's trad climbing capital: Liming. These sandstone cliffs, an aesthetic combination of Indian Creek and Squamish, are THE location to climb on gear in the country. Splitter stone, beautiful views, and authentic Chinese culture (of the Lisu minority who populate the area) make for one of the most memorable locations to climb in.

With climbing in crag settings, both single and multipitch, there are skills that are essential to managing emergencies that may arise. Successful maneuvering during crisis situations comes with a great deal of first-hand experience in steep terrain. This class is meant to give you the basic tool kit to take into the vertical environment as a means for you to enjoy the cliffs and mountains with a greater confidence of bringing yourself and your climbing partner back home safely.

The first day will cover skills predominantly in ground clinics, with systems being built at the base of crags.

The second day will take us onto the wall where we will apply our ground clinic skills to actual scenarios of self-rescue.

In this class, you will learn:

- Ascending systems

- Belay escapes

- Building a "baseline" rescue system.

- 3:1, 6:1 hauling/raising systems

- Transitions: raise to lower

- Rappelling: counterbalance, tandem

Course Information:

Duration: 3 days

Maximum student to instructor ratio: 2:1

Total Class Cost: 1:1 ratio ¥2400/$395 (¥800 or $120 per day) || 2:1 ratio ¥2200/$370 (¥733 or $112/day per person)–NB: This price INCLUDES travel to and from Liming (usually originating in Dali)


Destination Climbs: Haba Xueshan (哈巴雪山 || 5396m/17807 ft.)

Haba Xueshan, along with Jade Dragon Mountain, towers over the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the world's deepest, in northwestern Yunnan Province. The route is rated PD-, requiring very little travel over steep, technical terrain. While the terrain is not highly technical, knowledge of self-arrest and basic crampon technique is strongly advised for the 'glacier walk' portion of the climb. We will have a skills clinic at base camp. Haba is a great peak for mountaineers seeking to to get a taste of altitude or climbers looking to use it to develop their skills for more technical, committing peaks.

For more information on Haba, visit the route information page on my website.

Download a sample itinerary and packing list here.

Trip Information:

Duration: 3-4 days

Maximum student to instructor ratio: 2:1

Trip Cost: ¥5000 ($814) (includes guiding fees, meals on the trip, peak fee, and local lodging while in Haba village)


Custom Classes: Climbing, Hiking, Trekking, Trail Running

I also offer custom-tailored climbing days to those seeking to have a lesson plan specifically tailored to their skill needs. This choice is for folks who already have a mastered the basic skills of single and multipitch traditional climbing, and are looking for a class environment in which we can pinpoint exactly what skills the student wants to develop further. With private transportation, we have the freedom to travel to less explored, more remote and wild parts of the country. 

Course information:

Duration: variable

Maximum student to instructor ratio: 2:1

Cost: 1:1 ratio: ¥600/$97 per day || 2:1 ratio: ¥500/$81/day per person

Email j.ryder.stroud@gmail.com for more information