Kia Rio: Ski Vehicle Perfection

Skiers love debates. One question that surfaces regularly in the NYSkiForum: what car makes the best ski vehicle? The answers are always the same: Subaru wagons, Toyota pickups and AWD minivans. Occasionally some pervert will go on about the Jeep Wrangler, which baffles me to no end.

Kia Rio
photo courtesy kia.com

I believe there are many cars that fit the bill. Over the years I’ve had a wide variety of ski cars: a Chevy Spectrum (a serious POS.), a rear-wheel-drive GMC Safari (glorious), a Chevy Caprice (cruising to the hill on a sofa), Olds 88 (eh), a couple different 4×4 Chevy Colorados (pretty f’ing good), a BMW X5 (yeah heated seats and super fast, but meh) and an AWD GMC Safari (more or less perfect in every way).

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David Lee Ghostlaw: Patriarch of a Gore Ski Family

I started skiing in 1968 at Ski Dutchess in Beacon NY. It was at night and I was on rental skis. After setting off, I promptly rotated around and proceeded down the slope backwards until I fell on my behind. Pulling myself off the snow, something was ignited inside me and that fire still burns today. Skiing has rewarded me with some of the best moments and memories of my life.

David Lee Ghostlaw on Farnum Glacier

Twenty years earlier in Bombay NY, my future father-in-law, David Lee Ghostlaw was having a similar experience in an open hayfield adjacent to his home. On wooden skis without metal edges, skiing straight down the hill, over and over, he also experienced the magic.

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Kaaterskill Falls in Winter

This winter I traveled to the Catskills, to show my girlfriend one of my prime stomping grounds when I lived in NYC.  With two days, I picked Kaaterskill Falls as one of my destinations.

Although I missed most of one day of excellent skiing, driving around the local hills with fresh eyes reminded me of how special these mountains really are, and I wanted to experience them in a new way.

One big hole in my hiking resume has always been getting to the top of Kaaterskill Falls. Anyone that skis Hunter regularly has no doubt seen the throngs clinging to the sides of 23A getting back and forth to the trailhead. I wanted to be one of those people cursing the trail up to this iconic spot.

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