Originally Posted by tomfifield
This is what I have always been told and read, low tires are for off road in sand or snow, but most of us will not be going off road on our trips to the mountain. Fat tires and fat skis can slide better, not always a good thing on the road.
You hit on the point here. Most tires, even winter tires, especially at higher pressures, don't give much if any feedback before they lose traction. It is a 100% to 0% game. Predictability is one of the most important features as you get out to the edge of performance.
You can't run off-road air down pressures at speed for any distance even if it is cold - you risk blowing a tire. However, a tire with some width and aggressive tread at the lower end of road pressures can provide a ton of feedback way before the limit. If you think about being on smeary soapy snow on a steeper pass, this feedback is very nice to have. You aren't going to race Audi's, but that isn't the point.
And of course you have gobs of capability if you need it in deeper snow. Tires are much like skis in this regard. You can take a fatter ski on carving terrain much more easily than the reverse, you just can't expect pure carving performance.