A nice way to start the New Year. With very low snow levels in Southern California, the "Middle High Country" in the San Gabriel Mountains was still open -- though that will change if this week's weather forecast for 2+ feet of snow over 6,000 feet is accurate.
I hiked to the top via the Crystal Lake trail, and took the loop down via the Islip Ridge and Big Cienaga trails (I never did see a big cienaga, but I suspect there isn't one). There was virtually no snow on the south slopes. Maybe a couple inches on the north slopes but nothing to impede normal hiking.