Fun, steep terrain
Patchy snowcover, slow lifts, unusable vertical drop
I was at Baldy on Feb. 27, 09. They received 3' of new snow 11 days before my visit, so it had been re-frozen many times. The sun softened the exposed snow very well, and I had a good time. Many of the fun-looking double blacks were shaded by trees though and were therefore hard ice, not skiable. Also the area under the first lift was nearly inaccessible due to bald spots, which effectively takes away 1,000' of this mountain.
Snow conditions were reported at 30", 48", 50" low-mid-high the day I went, and they claimed all 400 acres open. Completely wrong. I estimate 50% of the terrain was open, and 12" snowcover in the good places.
Not a beginner hill by any means, but if you're into challenging terrain (Vail-level blacks) I think it's the best bet near LA. No crowds.