I arrived at the TH at about Noon after spending the night in Scottsbluff, NE. My original plan was to take the Needles Trail (#4), however the road leading to that TH was closed for the season. Trail # 9 was an easy hike in the snow both ways, and the snow was consolidated enough that snowshoes weren't necessary. The summit area was a bit icy, but I was able to kick some small steps with my plastic boots along what would have been the stairway up to the top (if it hadn't been snow covered). Temps. were around 29 F with only about a 10mph wind, so I wasn't too chilly. The views were fantastic, and I got some great pictures, however, I accidentally deleted some of them (including my 1-minute video) by bumping a button while packing stuff up after the hike. I'll be writing a letter to the digital camera manufacturer, as I think its a little too easy to accidentally delete pictures when the 'delete' and 'approve delete' button are one in the same. It should be noted that there is about 250-300' of elevation gained on the trip out, so be mentally prepared for that. Overall a great day of snow hiking!
6.8 miles, 1600 vertical ft.