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Campgaw, New Jersey - 2/16/13

jaywbigred

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I've known of Campgaw for some time, and always wanted to check it out. Well, this Saturday, I got the chance.

Campgaw is a tiny hill in northern New Jersey, a few minutes off 287 south of Mahwah. It is owned by Bergen County. I believe it has about 250 vertical feet. The hill has a decent little pitch to it at the beginning, and then a runout that is very skiable if you carry your speed from the top. It has a small terrain park with a number of rails and 1 jump. There are two main lifts that go to the "top", both doubles, including one with a midstation unloading center (!!!??!?!?!?!?!). I think there is also a learning area with ropetow and or magic carpet ride. There was some infrastructure (snackbar, warming hut, rentals, bathrooms) but I didn't venture in because they were a considerable way up hill from both main lifts, and located more near the learning area and the tubing center, which was packed.

The crowd was very interesting; this is the county where Real Housewive of NJ is filmed/based, and a lot of the Moms, both on and off skis, looked the part. I saw fir, animal prints, fake boobs...even a limo waiting in the parking spot! Never saw a limo waiting in a ski area parking lot, not in Aspen, Vail, Telluride, Park City, Zermatt...but I saw it at Campgaw!

They have night skiing, and a lot of different lift ticket options when it comes to the hours skied. I think the all day ticket was maybe $30? They have a number of fan guns as well (!!!!) so their snowmaking can probably cover the entire complex in a few hours. They also had TWO newer looking snow cats...it must take them about an hour to groom the whole thing!

I skied for about 2 hours with a curious buddy of mine. I got some blood flowing in my legs, even worked up a sweat and fell once in the terrain park. It was a little icy after a night-freeze, but it warmed up and got better towards lunch. The people watching was fabulous, there were some funny looking skiers, the aforementioned Bergen Moms/MILFs, and even a junior snowboarding slalom race (they were GOOD!).

I will def. file this in the back of my mind as a great place for little kids that was 35 minutes from my house. I'd probably prefer to ski NJ backcountry/NESLAP on the off chance I am home for a weekend in the winter, but if there is no natural snow, or if you have little kids, this is a funky little place. In my book, skiing here is better than not skiing at all.
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legalskier

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I skied here back in middle school when they first opened. Took my kids once or twice when they were little. Couldn't beat it for convenience.
Now I only see it from the hill on 17 by the BMW dealer on my way up north...brings back some fun memories.
 

catskillman

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I saw a white limo at Hunter years ago on a big dump day - later found out it was Uma Thurman & Ethan Hawke. I probally spelled that wrong - I am told she skis (and got the ski instructor fired) and he boards very fast.
 

jaywbigred

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I saw a white limo at Hunter years ago on a big dump day - later found out it was Uma Thurman & Ethan Hawke. I probally spelled that wrong - I am told she skis (and got the ski instructor fired) and he boards very fast.

Got the instructor fired!? LAME!
 

dmc

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I saw a white limo at Hunter years ago on a big dump day - later found out it was Uma Thurman & Ethan Hawke. I probally spelled that wrong - I am told she skis (and got the ski instructor fired) and he boards very fast.


She's kinda local - her father lives in Woodstock - he used to be a Tibetan Buddhist monk now he's a well known Buddhist Scholar.. I used to see her all the time in the lodge. Never heard about the limo or ski instructor.. Friends of mine know her.

Seem all kinds of famous people in the Hunter lodge..
 

Cornhead

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Thanks for the TR, looks like a great place for kids, we could use some fake boobs at my molehill. :wink:
 

catskillman

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allegedly..

confirmed - private lesson, instructer she was supposed to have was late, WP took advantage of opportunity and said he was her instructor, took her where she did not want to be, complaint filed, RH took advantage of the opp to fire him.

happened about 8 years ago or so, before the learning center was open.
 

ERJ-145CA

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Don't shortchange it, it's 270' vertical!

Anyway, until I bought a place and moved up near Mountain Creek I've lived within about 20 minutes of Campgaw almost my whole life whether growing up in my parents house or places I rented. So that said I skied there many, many times, especially growing up, so the place holds a spot in my heart.

You can see the George Washington Bridge from the summit on a clear night.

Back in the mid 2000s I had a great powder day there. I had to go to the DMV that day to renew my license and it was dumping snow. After the renewal I'm driving home and thought "F it, I'm going skiing". I would pass Campgaw on the way to my son's pre-school so I got geared up and hit the mighty Gaw for a couple of hours. It was dumping snow the whole time and I was the only skier there until I was about to leave. I just lapped the 270' vertical for two hours straight. Another skier showed up and I skied with him for about 10 minutes (probably 5 runs) and said "I gotta go". He said "Why?" Me: "I gotta pick my son up from school, the roads are probably getting really bad, take it easy". Got my son from school and went home. Yes the roads were terrible by then but I've never had a Corolla let me down in the snow. Ahh, the memories.
 
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