Originally Posted by COBillsFan
It could be done. But for an exclusive east coast expert? Not a chance.
You can zip bump runs and icy birch glades all day out east, but you will not find that combination of pitch and hazards anywhere. That’s the point. You will plateau in your abilities until you can challenge yourself with that type of terrain. I grew up skiing the east and searched plenty for the gnar. It’s just not the same.
Mostly I've been on the "hey, who cares" side, but this "plateau" b.s. is so bass ackward it requires a comment. No it's not the same (duh, you have another 6,000 ft or so), but what does that mean, exactly, in terms of "challenge?" It is not random noise in the system that so many U.S. Ski Team Members have come from New England. FWIW, I grew up and went to college in California, skiing all over the west, have since skied all over North America, literally, and have lived in New England for 37 years.
So first reality: There's a technique connection between zipping icy bumps or trees and zipping gates. You can be fairly damn sloppy in soft open snow. You'll be fairly damn in the ER if you try sloppy in icy bumps or trees or gates. Statistically, trees are waay more likely to kill you than a rock band in a chute.
From which second reality follows: If you can handle those bumps and trees, pitch is not the issue you make it out to be. (Or maybe you just have a fear of heights; many do.) Tuckerman's is steeper than most chutes you have out west, with just as much potential for catastrophe, and any number of resorts back here have sections of our infamously tight and twisty runs that are comparable to longer stretches of some terrain out west. Go look up pitch numbers if you don't believe me. Or if you missed the gnar, go try Ruth's Run at Smuggs (unmarked, check with a local), and see how you do taking the fall line shoulder width granite ledges partly covered by frozen waterfalls and bordered by tight trees. Doing controlled jump turns at the top of a 45 or 50 degree chute isn't any more technically "challenging," I've done both. Just different.