Backcountry Skiing

EXPLORING THE KOOTENAYS BACKCOUNTRY

The West Kootenays backcountry is renown for producing high quality snow and provides excellent terrain for ski touring and shredding POW. From lift-accessed backcountry touring, to ski-touring and skiing some of the best runs, Fritz will get you there. With many years of experience guiding in the Kootenays, a high level of skill, knowledge and passion, Fritz is a professional and reliable guide for your group. He understands the importance of proper pre-tour preparation, efficiency, and calmness that ensures the safety of his group. He is a team player who is deeply committed and takes initiative to ensure that all group members are within their comfort zone at all times. 

All of his backcountry clients are expert/experienced backcountry skiers with their own avalanche gear. 

Fritz has an excellent safety record with no accidents under his watch as a guide over his 12 years of guiding in the Kootenay backcountry. Fritz is an advanced wilderness first aid responder that keeps his certification and training updated. The safety of his group is always his highest priority! 

On every backcountry tour he carries his own satellite phone, spot satellite messenger and everyone in his group is provided with a BCA radio for optimal group communication. 

He keeps the group small (max 4 clients) and never takes a group out in the backcountry when the avalanche rating is higher than, “considerable” there is always another day! 

Fritz is the sole guide and also the owner of the incorporated company: Silver City Stagelines LTD, in Trail, B.C.

All clients have to read, understand and sign the liability form, click here.
To view Fritz’s Wilderness First Aid Certification, click here

Daily Rates 

1:1 $350 per person, 
1:2 $200 per person, 
1:3 $135 per person, 
1:4 $100 per person, 
Transportation from trail to touring location is included.

Booking Availability (Dependent on Avalanche Condition and Weather)

December 2019: Booked

January 2020: 15th, 16th, 17th – available

February 2020: 10th, 11th, 12th – available

March 2020: There may be some days available between the 5th – 16th

Agnes und Ueli Scheidegger

During the seasons 2016/17 and 2017/18 we had to opportunity to go on several ski tours with Fritz Keller as our guide. We were fortunate to have met Fritz, as we immediately appreciated his flexibility and open-hearted character.

On these ski tours Fritz was very quick in correctly assessing our level of fitness and ski technique and chose the right terrain for us: neither boring nor overwhelming, but really good, interesting skiing we enjoyed very much. We benefited enormously from his intimate knowledge of the area, as he knows every peak and every run at the Kootenay Pass. He also was a very good source of information on the subject of snow, avalanches and also wilderness first aid. As foreigners, we did have many questions for him on these topics.

Even on small tours, Fritz was always perfectly prepared. When we met him in the mornings he had exceptional plans for the day ready and discussed the options with us. He then always left the itinerary on the dashboard of his car at the trailhead and was cornerstones of the plan on the tours because his estimations for the climbs and runs proved always to be very accurate. At the same time we were never rushed in any way. Fritz always made sure, that no one on the tour was in above his/her abilities, and that everybody was warm enough at all times and ate and drank sufficiently.

We can warmly recommend Fritz Keller as a skiguide for backcountry skiers of all levels and hope to have the opportunity to do more tours with him in the future.

To whom it may concern,

This present letter is to recommend, without any hesitation, Fritz Keller for the position of mountaineering / ski touring guide.

I had the privilege of having Fritz as a ski partner on a dozen of occasions. I was sold on the first day by his amazing positive attitude, his fantastic social skills and mostly by his unbelievable snow science and terrain knowledge.

It took only one day to trust him on every decision he made as all of them were explained to me and backed up by printed maps of slope we were going to, the printed avalanche reports, printed snow falls/wind reports for the last 12 hours; by the weather forecast for the next 24 hours and by a whole journal about snow conditions/snow pit test/ snow temperatures/outside temperatures/ wind speed and direction and snow accumulation starting late October 2017.

Than, before leaving the parking lot, he would always make sure that we had all the extra repair parts and all the cooking and sleeping gear we could need in case of sudden change in the forecast. He would always remind me where his first aid kit was and would show me were to find his spinal board and other extra 1st aid gear was in the car. He would also make sure every skier had a radio for perfect communication in bad weather conditions or when the terrain would not permit a visual between each skier. His first responder training always made me even more confident that I would always have a great day and would get home in one piece.

He brought me in the best skiing conditions even when the season seemed totally over and he brought me into the most exciting terrain, even when you could think that the weak base layer was a problem in any aspects. He would gather information all day about the snow stability on different aspects, temperature, wind speed, snow accumulation to make sure that our project was still going to be safe once we would reach it. We never changed our itinerary from the original plan unless it was unsafe; we would than stay in the same area but would go on a safe aspect. He also always made sure to adapt our plan to the weakest skier of the group and would find an easier way to ski down if someone was not comfortable for a project.

He is the most reliable AND laidback person I have skied with. He has never bailed; he has always been on time and been excited about any projects I had. Though he also convinced me with very good arguments that some of my dreams runs were not as safe as I thought for this season or this time in the season and could easily suggest similar adventures but in safer conditions.

Mr. Keller is the best guide/ski partner I have ever had period. For any further details or questions, please contact me on my phone or via email.

Have a great summer and a fantastic skiing season. M. Trudeau

My name is Colin Sutherland and I am the Marketing and Team Manager at Liberty Skis. We have had the pleasure of working with Fritz Keller for the past few years. He is our go-to guide when we are skiing in the Selkirk Mountain Range. He has over twenty years of experience skiing and exploring the Selkirk Range. Fritz’s resume and accomplishments throughout his life is absolutely incredible. Growing up in the Swiss military and spending the remaining of his life guiding mountains around the globe.

We use Fritz as our guide on our Liberty team trips in BC for several reasons. The first one is his attention to detail. He spends hours the evening before explaining the terrain, our plan, and the snow conditions. The second reason we love to work with Fritz is safety. Fritz is a father to five children and he wants to make sure that he can watch his kids grow old. His years of experience in the mountains helps my team of athletes make smart decisions. Fritz is the first person to go through snow safety and proper practices with everyone before entering the backcountry.

Once we get to the backcountry he takes the time to explain to the team the avalanche danger and the signs that he is seeing when we dig pits. Fritz also carries a 50-pound pack filled with enough supplies to keep everyone safe. The third reason that we love to use Fritz is his energy. Ear to ear smiles, high fives, and loud screams of joy will fill your day when you ski with Fritz. He is the most humble and grateful person I have ever meet in the ski industry. He will always put others first and makes sure that everyone is having an amazing time. The last reason that we love to work with Fritz is his knowledge of the area. Whether stability is good or poor Fritz has a safe option for everyone in our group.

We will continue to use Fritz for our backcountry trips in BC. I cannot wait until the next time I get the opportunity to spend a day in the mountains with him.

With appreciation.
Colin Sutherland Liberty Skis