People in this thread (at least, the ones who haven't skied on the east coast) seem to be confusing hardpack with ice. Both "2D" skiing, but IME very much not the same. At the risk of starting another war over definitions, here's the distinction I'm trying to make:
Hardpack: consolidated snow, little or nothing loose on the surface, no give, but a ski on edge leaves at least a little bit of a furrow.
Ice: it's shiny and smooth. Cross it even on edge, and it sounds scratchy. A ski on edge leaves a thin line.
Here in MN, hardpack, much of it man-made, is what we have most of the time. It takes an edge, as long as it's a sharpish edge, no problem, even if your transitions are a little shaky.
Ice, on the other hand, I was recently reminded is quite different. Speaking as one of those Josh Matta would definitely say "can't ski," I found that on ice, even with a decent edge, waiting until the bottom half of the turn to try to get the edge to bite is a recipe for skidding sideways with little or no control.
Sharp edges can save a skier (like me) with poor technique on hardpack. On ice, seems like you need the edges and the technique.