Originally Posted by Taxman
If you are lucky enough to ski powder all of the time, so it becomes a East Coast V West Coast thing..... Mind you, I have had some hard snow days at Squaw and Alpine Meadows and prefered skinnier to fatter skis.
Well, to continue with your thread drift a little: it's not just about powder, nor should it be - as prickly
points out it's easier to move around a shorter ski. That applies as well to turns in chutes, trees and other tight terrain features...and it's a little lighter as well. Plus there's a whole spectrum of snow between "ice and refrozen crud" and powder. I wouldn't characterize east coast US touring as predominantly ice and refrozen crud.
And finally, overlooking that hard snow days at Alpine and Squaw are actually about in-bounds skiing, even though you may be skiing hard snow in the backcountry it isn't always hard, and a slightly shorter ski is generally more versatile. Though I'd be the last person in the world to discourage owning a broad range of skis for every possible condition -
- many people that ask beginner advice seem to be looking for an all-around solution.