There's always plenty of RS Pikes in the Pinkbike Buynsell. Easy and cheap to convert between 130-160. I feel like on a HT if there's TOO much fork up from it becomes weird handling - BB too high, shortens up the reach, slackens the seated climbing position. I'd probably go with a Pike at 130 or 140.
I reckon you'd be better off with more quality suspension than more travel. But that's only IMO.
Just like with freeride bikes back in the day, those tires will suck. Upgrading to some better rubber will make a big difference - sturdier sidewalls, better tread, better rubber. Even if it's just SE4 27.5*2.8 from where you picked the bike up from. But winter riding is rarely best riding.
Glad to see you got back in the game!