"Back in the early 1940s, Herb Leffler and Jim Chaffee worked together at the Douglas Aircraft Company in El Segundo where United States planes were being built for duty in the Pacific. During winter a group of friends at the plant, including Leffler and Chaffee, would combine enough C Ration gas coupons to fill the tank of their 1927 Ford Model A so they could go skiing at Blue Ridge, the only SoCal resort not closed because of the war. In 1944, Leffler and Chaffee decided to install their own rope tow and when the U.S. Forest Service offered them several sites, they chose Movie Slope behind Snow Crest Resort at Camp Baldy. Chaffee borrowed one of his father’s Hudson engines, which he housed in a structure made of used Douglas Aircraft engine packing cases, and, using a bale of rope and Leffler’s initial investment of $150, the boys were in business. Their first year they made a $90 profit. The following year Chaffee joined the 10th Mountaineers. Upon his return and over the next seven years, three more rope tows were installed, a small lodge was built near Snow Crest Resort, the ski school was initiated, and a ski patrol formed. Leffler and Chaffee brought a portable rope tow to the Divide, now called the Notch, and in the spring they would take groups of skiers up to the top of the canyon where Chair 1 is now located and run the portable to the top. By 1952, the U.S. Forest Service granted permits to open Thunder Mountain and with the help of investors, Mt. Baldy Tows was formed and construction began. Leffler and Chaffee sold their holdings to the corporation in 1953. An additional change of ownership in 1969 brought lift upgrades, expansion of facilities at the base, mid-mountain, and at the Notch summit, and better grooming equipment. Mt. Baldy’s future development plan received the go-ahead from the U.S. Forest Service in 1997. Once environmental studies are completed and permits granted, the area to the northeast of the Notch and over the ridge from Chair 4 down to Stockton Flats will be incorporated into the resort. Expansion will include more than 300 acres of superb north-facing ski slopes, extending over 2,200 vertical feet above the new base area and served by seven new chairlifts, including a high-speed detachable quad from bottom to top. This eTrail contains a thorough description of the resort including driving directions, mountain statistics, trail profiles, extensive lodging & dining information, travel tips, and much more."