Distance done: 7.0km
Elevation done: 660m
Needle Peak is as fun in the winter as it is in the summer. Parking is close and convenient, there's a bathroom right there, and you'll have to forget the compass at home and try really hard if you want to get lost.
Snow on the ascent from the road is pretty firm, with some minor postholing. Once up on the ridge there was fluffy fresh snow of variable depth up to about 15cm, over a firm base. I used crampons for the ascent to the ridge and snowshoes during the ridgetop amble.
Skies were blue for the first hour but clouded over and hid our views as soon as we were on the ridge proper.