It started out as just a practical way to make the most of standing in the tram line at Jackson Hole. With a typical wait in the neighborhood of an hour or more, core skiers know that’s a good time to eat except to do so food needs to be something you can handle while holding your skis and poles and gloves and still shuffle forward in a crowd so anything on a plate is out, as is a submarine sandwich and a lot of other things too.
To deal with that Kate Schade started making a chocolaty sort of trail mix ball. She’d share it with friends while standing in the tram line. At first they were simply grateful for a delicious snack. Then they noticed that it satisfied their hunger and delivered lots of energy. And finally they told her she had to start doing something with these tram bars, or they’d do if for her. The result is Kate’s Bars, the Tram Bar and Caz Bar.
Alli Noland of Terra PR gave me a few at the recent Outdoor Retailer show with the simple request to give ‘em a try. They got thrown in the duffle for the drive back to Truckee and then stashed in the cupboard with a bunch of Clif Bars. Last week I broke the seal on one. I was expecting the usual, semi-hard, moderately tasty energy bar. The Cas Bar is sort of like that. It has a bit of cayenne in it, and they’re dense, so they’re chewy and semi-hard but the cayenne plus a smidgen of garam masala spice makes you wrinkle your nose at first trying to figure out what it is you’re munching on. After you’ve swallowed the first bite though the heat starts to kick in and you can’t help but take another bite. Before you know it, it’s gone.
Next on the menu: the Tram Bar. First bite is chewy, and chocolaty, but not hard. A few bites later and half the bar was gone. I set it down to finish what I’d been working on when I realized, “hey, that was actually good.” So good, in fact, that given the chance you can’t eat just one, let alone half.
As for how much energy they provide, I’ll have to drop by Jackson Hole to see if they’re good for one, two, or three laps from the top of Rendezvous Mountain. My guess is they’ll be good for at least two, three on a powder day. How do I know that? ‘Cuz my wife looked at the label and declared it had so many calories that if I ate a whole Tram Bar I could forget about dinner that day. Deb’s an awesome cook so I’ll save my Tram Bars for the slopes, or at least out of sight.
TramBars retail for $3.00 and the CasBar for $2.29. A bit pricier than similar options, but on taste alone you might say you get what you pay for. You’ll have to give it a whirl to know for sure.