Recently, I spent a day snowcat skiing on assignment for a Colorado magazine. The premise of cat skiing is thus, for the uninitiated: You are skiing in the backcountry (read: no lifts, unpatrolled, unmaintained, no avalanche control work) on either telemark, alpine touring, or downhill ski equipment. Instead of having to climb to the top of each run (as with traditional backcountry skiing), you use a motorized (and heated) snowcat to shuttle skiers from the bottom of a slope to the top.
As I boarded the snowcat at the start of the day, each seat had a bottle of water and an energy bar awaiting its respective skier. I reflexively prepared to offer my bar to another skier, assuming I wouldn't be able to eat it, when I noticed the words "gluten-free" prominently displayed on the front of the label. What a pleasant surprise!
Photo courtesy of Steamboat Powdercats.
The gluten-free bar in question was a Balance Pure, made by the Balance Bar company and touted as being "made from simple ingredients." The ingredients are indeed simple, especially when compared to the often complicated ingredients lists on other energy bars.
The Balance Pure bars come in two flavors: Cherry Pecan, and Chocolate Cashew. Both are moist and chewy. The Cherry Pecan flavor tastes vaguely fruity (not strongly of cherry in particular), and almond comes through strongly as well. This is a good thing, if you like almonds (I do), but it was also surprising, since the flavor is Cherry Pecan (almonds are in the ingredients, however). For the Chocolate Cashew, the cashew flavor is there, but takes a slight backseat to a raw chocolate flavor, which for me is what comes through most. Overall, I give both flavors, and the bars in general, high marks.