I skied with @MastersRacer at Breck today, with lots of powder on top of a fair amount of refreeze. I later described some of the runs as "epic."
Later this evening, it occurred to me that these exact same conditions would have been challenging to miserable for me, not too long ago. The powder was heavy enough to provide resistance, and the stuff under the powder was ... variable. Crunchy, or soft, or sudden drops or rises hidden by an even blanket of snow. In the past, I would have been spending way too much time hard braking and facing sideways, and I would have been pretty unhappy. My upper body would have been tossed back and forth with the density of the snow and the friction of what lay beneath. I would never have called it "epic." But now, I have the skills to let the skis run a bit and trust my legs to handle whatever's below.
I mean, I guess this is obvious. A beginner can be miserable in powder that an experienced skier loves. A good bump skier can charge down a bump run that a lesser bump skier hates. This is just another version of that. I just ... didn't expect it.
I just didn't realize that as I got better at skiing, I'd have more "epic" condition days!