Peapack Ski Area
Peapack/Gladstone, NJ
Before 1959-At least 1987

This area is on Private Property. Please do not trespass, thanks!

History ~ Listings By The Year ~ Memories

History

Peapack Ski Area was a small, rope tow area that operated in Brookside/Gladstone NJ, about 2 miles north of the junction of Route 202 and 206. Peapack opened sometime before 1959 and closed sometime after 1987. The area had just a single rope tow, two wide slopes, and 4-5 trails through the woods. There was no snowmaking, thus the area relied entirely on natural snow. This must have been a challenge, given the area's low elevation of approximately 160 feet to 312 feet. Rates were certainly low, allowing the place to be an affordable area to learn to ski.

There was no lodge or toilets at this no frills area. Outhouses were available however. A small hut served as a snack bar. 

The overhead photo on the right shows the area, and would be the view if one looked from north to south up the area.

Paul Mikalsen was the 'instructor at Peapack in the mid 70's for 2 or 3 years. According to Paul, the owner's name was Mel Blauffus. and he believed he lived in Mendham or Chester. Here's more info from Paul:

The rope tow was powered by an old 4 cylinder car engine with a three speed trans. The rope was wrapped around a tire rim a few times and was held up by hubs attached to telephone pole. (this was exactly the same setup that Mirror Lake Inn had) I learned to ski there early in the 60s and taught a few lessons. In 3rd gear that sucker would either smoke your gloves or rip your arms off.

Mel would open on Wed. and Fri. nights (thatís when I worked) and sat. I donít remember if he opened on Sun.  At night he charged $3 or $4 to ski from 7-10. They rented old wooden skis, NORTLAND etc. with leather lace up boots, out of an old station wagon he would drive to the hill in, for a few bucks. He would get 30 or so people at night. If it payed the electric bill he was happy.

Mel had his hill because he loved skiing and wanted people try this sport in a way it used to be.

Peapack had a listed vertical of 200 feet, but it was likely closer to 140 to 160 feet, as you can see in this topo map.

According to our readers below, the area now has houses developed on it and does not resemble the ski area it once was.

 

Listings By The Year

Year Lifts Trails Rates Other Info Source
1977 1 rope tow 4 trails, 2 slopes, 200' drop, natural snow only, 2 slopes lighted for night skiing "low" Operates weekends, holidays from 10am-415pm, Mon-Thu 745-1015pm. Ski school, rentals, repairs, snack bar on weekends/holidays, ski jump Skiiing USA
1982 1 tow, 700 skiers/hour Longest run: 1200', vertical drop 200' unknown Hours same as above. Open Late Dec - Mid Mar Billy Kidd's American Ski Guide
1986, 1987 One rope tow, 850 skiers/hour Two open slopes, five trails, longest run 1200', 200' vertical Adults and kids: $8.00 weekends, holidays, $5.00 night. $4.00 group lesson, $10.00 private Open December 20-March 10, weekends and holidays: 10am-415pm, Mon Thurs - 730pm-1015pm. Ski school director: Edward Fimbel (3 other instructors). Snack bar, ski rentals, ski patrol, repair service available White Book of Ski Areas

Memories

Dave Waller: Now 53, I started skiing when I was about 8 - with my first "turns" being attempted at Peapack - which would place already open about 1960. Although I'm sure the price of a lift ticket wasn't a factor, I can remember my father requiring me to climb the hill, herringbone fashion, and ski down without falling, before he would buy me a rope tow ticket. Despite my anger with him, I stuck with it until I was allowed to ride the rope. My love for skiing continued with 4 years at the University of Denver and 6 years at Snowbird after college.

Rodney: Sometime around 1970 (definitely prior to 1972), I recall driving by Peapack Ski area after a big  snowstorm. I recall quite a few cars parked along 206 and the ski area was fairly crowded. I also remember there was some type of shack or snack bar/rental shack near the base where the skiers would congregate.

Roger J. Breene: I learned to ski there when I was 3-4 years old (now 50).  My father took me there and I thought it was the biggest mountain I had ever seen.  There was no lodge.  You just parked on the side of the road.  We had to drive to town to get some hot chocolate after skiing.  There are now houses where the trails used to be, but whenever I drive by, I have fond memories.

Davis Carver: I grew up learning to ski at Peapack in the late 50's and early 60's. Our family would load up the Rambler wagon almost every Sunday. I remember a single rope tow powered by the rear end of a pickup truck. I believe it was 50 cents per day. The proprietors wife would sit in the cab of the pickup and sell donuts and hot chocolate. I remember one big open slope, which we kids shunned, because it was more fun to cut through little cowpaths in the woods and make jumps. Usually there was a bonfire at the bottom of the hill with benches for the dads to lace up their kids boots. We all had funky aluminum pliers that we'd wrap around our wrists and clamp to the tow rope.

Chuck Buss: 

Peapack was where I took my first ski run in 1967. It was seldom actually referred to as "Peapack" to my knowledge, but instead was simply called "ski-hill". The street that intersects route 206 just south of the site of the ski area is called "ski-hill road". Although I'm not sure which came first the road or the area. Since I was only 9, I can't help you with too much info on rates or anything, but I think a lift ticket only cost a dollar or two back then.

Robin Hall: I used to ski at the Peapack ski area in New Jersey with my parents and brothers. I remember pulling into the small parking lot which was just off the highway (Route 206.) There wasn't any lodge or indoor facilities that I can remember just one long, wide ski slope. Today there are houses on that land and a road through that area called Ski Slope or something to that effect.

John Streisguth: Where there is a note on the picture of trail (with question mark) that was actually access to/from the bathroom facilities, which was a one-hole outhouse! Also, when I skied there in the mid-eighties (one and only time) the rope-tow was quite fast in speed, and they rented and sold heavy leather palm protectors so that you didn't burn up your gloves (which I did in one day!). Also, at noon they shut down the tow and fired up the grill for lunch, serving hot dogs and hamburgers. A simple area from simpler times. Currently, a house has been built on the slopes, just to the left of the circular parking area adjacent to Rt. 206.

Dave Maxcy: Though I don't have hard data on this place, I did ski it one fantastic day around '80 or so. I went during a cold snap (0's at night), after a significant snow (prob. a nor'easter), when the pp. conditions were preserved for a few days. Everyone called it "Peapack-Gladstone" ski area then. I remember that a rope-tow ticket was in the $1.00 range. I went to practice my telemark on an old pair of wide, non-metal edge, touring skis and a pair of Fabiano "telemark" boots. No one in charge at the ski area seemed to mind the unconventional setup. I actually met another proto-telemark skier there, who was also on touring skis, and we face-planted together for the afternoon. Turning around the islands of trees scattered around the runs (visible in your aerial photo) gave the easy slopes some interest. Parking was a pull-out just off the edge of rt. 206.

Page last updated: June 22, 2007

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