I'll share a story about this weekend.
My brother has been a Snowmass ski bum for about ten years. This weekend, he came to visit us and ski Wolf Creek for the weekend.
Conditions: The prior weekend saw about 40" of very, very, very wet snow fall at temps a few degrees above freezing. Snow stopped falling on Tuesday, Wednesday-Friday saw thaw/freeze cycles every day. When I skied the prior weekend, I stopped at 2:30 PM on Sunday because the snow had condensed to the point where even relatively untracked snow was very difficult to play in (I struggle skiing 45*+ pitches in trees with snow that resists smearing/pivoting).
I was expecting the conditions to totally SUCK- refrozen cinder block crud. Thankfully they were not that, as the freeze cycles brought out a ton of surface hoar to sugar up the upper layer, and limit the amount that the snowpack condensed. The wet snow also really did wonders for sticking to the steeper chutes that have not held snow well. Still, conditions could best be called moderately heavy crud- not unskiable, but not primo, at least in my eyes.
So, my brother and his girlfriend come out from Aspen, and first run, start talking about how wonderful the snow is. By the third run, they are talking about how this is the best "powder day" they have had in 2 years. I'm flummoxed- its not a powder day, its 3 day old crud that came from heavy, heavy snow.
I spent a LOT of time talking with them trying to figure out where they are coming from, and I finally get to understand that they are calling it a powder day because the conditions on the steep technical lines through Waterfall area, Knife Ridge, Area 54, etc., are better than what they would find on a typical powder day at Aspen/Snowmass (especially during the last 2 years). Basically, if they aren't hitting the Cirque poma within minutes of open, the best lines are trashed, while they are skiing soft snow with coverage lap after lap 3 days after the storm at Wolf.
I think one thing commonly overlooked when talking about snow quality is how much crowds affect that. I love powder days at small ski areas that don't see the crowds, because the propsects are much better for getting fresh tracks all day. I've had a lot of very, very dissapointing powders days at large ski areas where the snow is devoured by 9:45.
My brother's summary of Wolf was "Never again will I put up with somebody telling me that Wolf is flat." Good snow and hairy terrain, even if it lacks sustained vert, can still rock.