A few Posts back, Pedal and Pole Park City started up a series of five question interviews with locals who are either creating unique products or experiences for visiting skiers and mountain bikers. In the second installment of this series, Allison and Drew Cesati, owners and operators of YeeHaw Pickle Company are sitting for the five questions. After years in the ski industry, they came up with a very different idea as to how to sustain the Park City lifestyle. So take a few minutes and get to know Drew and Allison Cesati and YeeHaw Pickles.

Alison, Drew, and Gracie the wonder dog. Somewhere in Fruita, Co.

1) How did you both go from the Ski industry to pickles?

We both have backgrounds in Resort and Ski Industry Event Management. Drew was also a Coach for the men’s National Ski Team for years, and is currently coaching Team Summit out of the Canyons. Between us we’ve worked at The Canyons, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, USSA, Rossignol, and Deer Valley. We’ve always been very involved in the marketing/PR/sales that went along with all of our events and we loved the idea of building a brand and marketing it to the outdoor industry. We never expected pickles to be our outlet, but they are proving to be a perfect vehicle to building a fun, unique brand.

We came up with the name of our company and the logo of a Clint Eastwood like pickle donning a cowboy hat with mountains in the background before we even mastered our recipes. We envisioned Yee-Haw Pickle Company being involved in on-mountain event sponsorships, trail advocacy, youth winter sports and live music. Before we knew it, we were making the most awesome tasting pickles (divine pickle intervention, perhaps) and the Yee-Haw Pickle Company took on a life of its own.
2) Where can visitors and locals find your awesome, made in Utah, pickles?

Utah Whole Foods, The Market at Park City, Deer Valley Grocery, Epic Brewing, It’s F’n Hot, Taste Gardner Village, local summer farmers markets
3) What are your favorite local trails, winter or summer and why?

We love the mountain bike trails in PC. The new Armstrong Trail has got to be one of our favorites. You can tell that they put a lot of thought into the building of that trail. Add the Sprio downhill on a Fall day (mid-week to avoid crowds) and you have perfection. In the winter, we love getting out into the Uintas with our yellow lab, Gracie, and 9990 on a powder day is pretty sweet too.
4) How has the Park City mountain lifestyle affected your business model?

It has effected our model in every way, but especially in our marketing and branding efforts. The name “Yee-Haw” has nothing to do with the country version many people know. We are always belting out “Yee-haws!” when we are out skiing or riding singletrack. It’s a term of stoke, really. And even our product names are tied to the mountain lifestyle, especially our sweet & spicy pickle, the Steezy Bee Stacker. That, and we really want to stay involved in mountain events and the community. As we grow, and climb out of the challenging “start-up” phase, we will hopefully have more product, time and marketing dollars to put towards involvement with on-mountain initiatives.

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5) Where do you see Yeehaw pickles in ten years?

We would love to have a nationally recognized brand, not just in the food industry, but in the outdoor industry as well. We’re talking Title Sponsor of Mountain Bike Events, Ski Events…hell, maybe we’ll even have our own multi-day event by then – we’ve been dreaming up the “Yee-Haw Pickle Wasatch Sasquatch”, but you’ll have to wait to see what its all about……

Alright, Now everyone knows where to get the Wasatch’s finest pickles! Thanks Allison, Drew, and Gracie(the wonder dog). Also, don’t be surprised if you get passed by these two on the way up Armstrong……Keep slidin and ridin!

PPPC.

RACERS READY!!??   AND……….

Start of the Wasatch Citizen Series 20k, 2/25/12

BANG!!!(HEY NEWBIE, THAT MEANS GO!)

Alright aspiring newbie Nordic racer, you’ve done a few intervals. You annoyed some faster skiers by jumping on their heels and trying to hang as they passed by at Round Valley or White Pine Touring. You’re feeling good about your fitness level and now have some idea of what kind of pain you can endure. You’ve got a little over two weeks to go until the Round Valley 40 and 20k’s on March tenth and you’re ready for the next step towards actually getting in a race.
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This is when thinking about some of the finer points of racing such as waxing come into play. Getting the right wax for the snow conditions on race day will greatly enhance the experience of racing, especially the first time out. You don’t want to have really slow skis for your first race. Slow skis are nothing but a big drag! But Nordic waxing can be fairly intimidating to a newcomer.

Nordic racers in their natural habitat: Paul Clark and Fabian Beaufils.

There are a lot of factors to consider such as the temperature of the track, the water content in the snow, and whether or not the snow is warming or cooling. Now you are thinking “what the……have I got myself into?” let alone the thought of buying waxing irons, scrapers, and fibrelene. Wait, you don’t even know what that is yet! For the above reasons, I cant stress enough the value of attending a waxing clinic put on by a local shop in your area and starting off with an all inclusive waxing kit. Actually seeing a Nordic wax tech do a hot wax and scrape will greatly speed your learning curve. The all inclusive kits come with an iron and several temperature ranges of wax which are ideal to start out with but not technically overwhelming.  White Pine Touring here in Park City is a great resource for clinics. Another incredible resource for waxing is youtube. The tutorials available pretty much cover all angles of Nordic waxing and are produced by accomplished professionals with in the industry.

one benefit of racing:everyone has fun! Sit skier killing it on course.

So maybe even after a clinic and some youtube vids, you are still a little to intimidated to race wax your own skis but you still want to go fast? This is again where the professionals come in. A place like White Pine Touring or your local Nordic center will take care of that for you and this is actually the option I recommend for a first time racer. Take the stress out of it and just drop those sticks off for buffing. This way a first timer gets the feel of a fast ski without the stress of doing the prep work and this experience can go a long ways towards helping decide if this sport is for you.

Definitely race waxed!

With just under two weeks to go until race day, a lot of ground has been covered. The newbie is feeling good about fitness, waxing options, and now it is time to get organized! In part three of this series I will cover how to get yourself organized on race day so you have maximum time to warm up and be ready for the gun. So get out and get in some K’s as Round Valley is coming!

Keep Skatin! PPPC.

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More blizzard racing video! Not sure when the shift occurred but racing in Utah usually means blue skies, perfect temps, and great courses. This season is all about blizzards, only on race day of course!

There is a lot of racing that goes on around Park City, Utah. Mountain bike racing, Nordic Ski racing, Cyclo-cross racing, alpine ski racing, paddle board racing: it just depends on the time of year. Since it is currently winter (or winter lite this season!), Nordic racing is in full swing. The Wasatch Citizens series 20k, which is the last of that series, is next Saturday, and the Round Valley 40k and 20k, are coming up quick on 3/10. A friend of mine who started Nordic skiing a few seasons back and has progressed quickly, recently signed up for the Round valley 20k. Like most citizen athletes in this area, he has developed a solid fitness base from doing a variety of mountain sports such as mountain biking, hiking, alpine skiing and ski touring along with skate skiing on a year round basis. With just three weeks left before the Round Valley races, he asked me for some advice on how to get ready for his first skate race.(WHAT!!?? I HAVE TO WEAR ONE OF THOSE!!??)

How to prepare for a race is a pretty big and personal question that some have based entire careers upon but there are a few basic things that a Nordic newbie can do to get ready for their first event.

First of all get ready for some PAIN!! The major difference between just skiing and racing is that in racing you don’t get to ski at your own pace unless you are at the front setting the pace and newbie that wont be you! So how do you get ready for the pain? The answer is intervals. Now I am not talking about doing a massive quantity of these with only a few weeks left before race time. The best approach is to do a couple of high intensity bursts while out skiing just to get a feel for what your fitness level can handle. A slight uphill works best for this kind of workout. When you get to the bottom of the grade just punch it as hard as you can go for 30 seconds. That does not sound like a lot but you will feel it! Try and do 5 or 6 of these with ample rest in between. That is only 150 to 180 seconds of pain but it will pay off when the gun goes off.

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Another easy way to simulate race pace is to just jump in behind a faster skier after they pass. There is no shortage of this here in the Wasatch. Around here, unless you have won a Nordic Olympic gold medal or World Masters gold medal, your getting passed so jump on! Stay a ways back but see how long you can hold the pace of a faster skier. This will give you a good idea of what kind of race pace you are capable of. So do some intervals over the next week and feel some race pace pain! This topic deserves a few more posts so next week I will discuss newbie race waxing and race course recon. If you want an idea of what real Nordic pain looks like, check Switzerland’s Dario Cologna winning the final climb of and the overall race in the 2012 tour de Ski.

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Keep skatin! PPPC.

Perfect conditions despite low snow.

A weekend skate at Round Valley turned into a mini Wasatch adventure complete with some pro dogsled racing this past Saturday. The fantastic trail system and Utah Brand blue skies, mild winter temperatures and a few lingering clouds made it the ideal day to recreate in the mountains. Round Valley is a trail system located just east of Park City and it is maintained by the Mountain Trails Foundation. The area has around 20k of fast, rolling, well groomed, multi use trails. In the summer the area doubles as a single track gymnasium perfect for mountain biking and trail running but more about that when the snow melts. Since it is a multi use area, you will run into walkers, dog walkers, snow bikers, Nordic skiers, and all various combinations of the above.One unbelievable aspect of Round Valley is the it is FREE! Of course you can join Mountain Trails Foundation but there is no trail fee winter or summer. Like I mentioned above, the Nordic skiing was also backed up with some Pro Dogsledding! An event was going on near the National Abilities center which paired up Pro Mushers with local area junior mushers. You should have been aournd to hear those happy dogs barking and just waiting to pull those sleds! The video clip below combines the great skiing and the super charged atmosphere from the dogs yelping plus a few shots of sleds taking off from the line.

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Chris McMaster, Owner and Operator of Ultralight Adventure equipment was kind enough to provide action model services in the video. Of course his backyard is Round Valley so running into him over there is pretty typical. Round Valley is a great example of the recreation opportunities that we have available here in the Wasatch mountains. Stay posted to Pedal and Pole as we continue to explore all the possibilities!

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Anyone who runs 100 mile races knows who Karl Meltzer is: Winner of both The Wasatch 100 and the Hard Rock 100 just to identify a few of the trophies on a very crowded shelf. What most people do not know about Karl is that he is an artist with the snow shovel and the rake.  With those simple tools he annually creates a literal high mountain amusement park ride. The video above barely scratches the surface of the giggles, grins, out right belly laughs, hoots, hollers, and other assorted exclamations which are involuntary when the custom design sleds get moving. My wife and I were along for the ride this past weekend. There will be many more visits to the track before it melts out, that is for sure!

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Rack up another first for Pedal and Pole Park City as we are now partnering with one of the outdoor industries premier online retailers: Backcountry.com! With their unparalleled inventory across the entire spectrum of mountain sports, industry standard customer service, and unique athlete sponsorship programs, we are extremely excited to be teaming up with a clear leader in the industry. This will also translate into great deals on skate skiing  gear for Pedal and Pole readers. The deals are already starting! Also with all this new snow things are going to start popping up pretty quickly here at Pedal and Pole. A new series of trail reviews with pictures and video for not just Park City but the entire state of Utah is about to get underway.(can you keep a secret? There is a lot of Nordic skiing here…)

Can you say dismal? We can and did this past Friday as this is what the Nordic center was looking like. (The streak of dirt mixed in with the red dye from bamboo directional poles really got me stoked to skate!). These might have been the worst skate ski conditions ever encountered by the Pedal and Pole crew! In some spots the impenetrable ice sheet was coated with a liberal frosting of “snirt”, a dirt/snow combination so slow, no wax known to mankind can produce glide. Instant forward rolls were the result of hitting this stuff with any speed(which picks up pretty quickly on glare ice!) Needless to say, spirits were pretty low on Friday. A storm was forecast like so many others this season. I wanted to believe…..

Then a crazy thing happened! It actually snowed! Not a massive storm by Wasatch proportions but more than enough to get the 5k rolled at White Pine Touring. Finally things are starting to look like  Park City, Utah!

This is what we are talking about! Blue skies and well covered tracks are the norm in Park City just as deep powder is the norm in the high Wasatch mountains. in addition to resetting the Utah Nordic season, all this new snow has also refreshed the local alpine resorts and the back country. Although that is a very different story.………

 

 

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This is really funny and the perfect thing to watch on a weather “transition” day. Snow Cycle!

AVALANCHE WARNING »

Dangerous avalanche conditions are occuring or are imminent. Backcountry travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended.

Notice:

THE AVALANCHE WARNING CONTINUES THROUGH THE WEEKEND FOR ALL THE MOUNTAINS OF NORTHERN UTAH. THIS INCLUDES THE BEAR RIVER RANGE, THE WESTERN UINTAS AND THE WASATCH PLATEAU. HEAVY SNOW AND STRONG WINDS HAVE EASILY OVERLOADED A WEAK AND FRAGILE PRE-EXISTING SNOWPACK RESULTING IN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AVALANCHE CONDITIONS. BACKCOUNTRY TRAVEL IS NOT RECOMMENDED. UAC

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