You probably encountered a lot of "resistance" due to the heavy, high moisture content of that snow
Combine that with the depth and that must have been a real treat for that 15 feet
Studded tires would be beneficial to give you traction. As far as a wider tire, I'm more inclined to think a standard 2.0 or 2.1 wide studded tire thinking of more like a studded pizza cutter would work better (less resistance and getting down to the sub-surface). A wider tire would give you, here again, more "resistance" on a "virgin" trail that has not been packed down. Now some would argue that the wider tire "floats" you above the snow but I have yet to "float" across the snow when I tried some 2.3's years ago but that's my opinion. I still think a standard width studded tire will give you plenty of traction and give you some stability when turning corners (less chance for tire to wash out).