Originally Posted by JoeUT
I missed this response or I wouldn't have bothered opening a whole new can of worms.
1. It sure seems like you're the one with the chip on your shoulder about some perceived slight from those that are happy living and skiing out west.
"The "west is best" faction, starting with the OP, seems to be way more assertive about we poor guys who don't get to ski their big steep stuff. Sufficiently more assertive that I wonder what's up. I wonder how their choices are working out. Did you guys pull out a lot of stops, maybe pass up other opportunities, to end up where you are?" Weird assumptions based on some "assertiveness" that I sure didn't see. A question was asked about eastern skiing and answered, mostly with people agreeing it doesn't suck but is, quite objectively, just not the same as the West. If anything, it was eastern residents suggesting it sucks and they'd rather go out West.
B: "OK western guys, you have the biggest baddest steepest mountains. Skiing everywhere else sucks. You've made exactly the right choices to get to where you live and what you do. We all wish we could be you and live your lives. Better?" Yep, much better, because exactly no single Western resident really gave a crap.
C. "is Epic supposed to have three levels of citizenship: Studs Who Rip Big Steeps Out West, Euros Who Can't Appreciate Powder, and the rest of us proles with (shudder) jobs and school districts? Yes, because you've done such a credible job of proving that skiing and "jobs and school districts" are mutually exclusive. That's kind of the self-justifying, pat-yourself-on-the-back bias I was talking about - as if Western resident skiers are somehow choosing skiing over jobs and schools and you're so much better off.
2. You gave a point by point of "all of the above". It's not subjective at all, it's .. and this is your quote here: "decent income" or "fulfilling job" or "traveling." Some don't. Some of us value "skiing" above "getting married" or "having families." Some don't. And some of us have managed to pull off all of the above.
I can check all those boxes, and what you or anyone else think of my salary or circumstances doesn't mean dick. I pulled off all the above, and just from reading this thread, I know that others have too. Which is why you should offer some support for your statement of "I doubt very many; it's pretty tough" when talking in a room full of folks that have braved through that toughness and done it.
OK, I'll try to address this in order.
1) I'm more sarcastic than I should be at times, and it can backfire when folks don't realize I'm being sarcastic. So your B and C quotes are parody, not very nuanced sarcasm. I am not characterizing all western skiers, let alone all of them on Epic. I am making a crack about a few posters who come across as being arrogant, in terms of where people ski and why. It's interesting that if no western skier gives a crap (I guess you're a spokesperson), a number of you feel compelled to keep posting on this thread. You seem pretty sensitive about me not genuflecting.
I also respect a whole slew of members who do not live in or near any major mountains and who probably don't find your "factual" statements of superiority very useful. Several of you keep falling back on how the thread was started by an eastern skier, so it's the rest of us that have a problem; apparently you all will be magnanimous - if a touch condescending - as long as the rest of us are properly awed by your cool steeps and the life choices that let you be there. So I (sarcastically) wrote (B) so you guys would just see how stupid the premise was - from both sides - and let it go.
2) About chips on shoulders: Here's the thing, I was born and raised out west. It's not magic for me, some new and cool place I never experienced before except on vacation. I lived there for 28 years, did a lot of skiing all over, then my professional training took me east, and my profession took me further east. Which was fine, I was ready to move on and the opportunities were not conveniently near a mountain range. But it's interesting to me that you assume I must have a grudge because people back here must want to exchange our lives for yours. I must regret moving. I must envy you.
IMO, your tell is the comment, "folks that have braved through that toughness and done it." So those of us who didn't do it that way - or incomprehensibly moved east or south or away from mountain ranges - must not have the cojones, because to do it your way takes bravery and toughness. Really funny rhetoric, IMO, and exactly on point with my argument that a lot of this is about choices made, not about skiing. You really come across as needing to rationalize your lifestyle choices as being special, heroic. Very 19th century pulp literature about the west.
3) Truth is, there are a lot of ways braveness or toughness can play out. Not all of them involve up and moving to a big mountain. Or skiing at all. And not all careers are portable or easily replicated. I'm not a very representative example, but since this seems to be about my chip, good place to start: I worked very hard for a good chunk of my life to get my dream job. To give you an idea of tough and unlikely it was: The average college football player (who's already a small fraction of all college students) has about a 1.6 % chance of becoming a pro. Of those, the vast majority won't last more than 3 years; maybe 1/10 will make enough money as a pro for long enough to actually call it a (brief) career. Got the idea? A 0.1% success rate at dong something for 8-10 years, then out?
OK, my job is statistically rarer to land and keep than those. On top of that, I have a wonderful wife and family, and I have been fortunate to travel all over the world. Also, for much of that past 30 years, I've been able to spend extended periods in places that have, it's fair to say, much more impressive mountains than anywhere mentioned in this thread. None of this came easy. So is it possible that I'm not feeling whatever your Psych 101 text or your Google search said signals denial or envy?
And, is my life here worth a tradeoff for living in Denver or SLC so I can ski there? Was it ever? To me, that sounds like the definition of a mid-life crisis. As I've said above, if I had a lot of flexibility about what I was going to do for a living, and was single, and had no other major reason for living wherever I was, then sure, maybe move to the mountains. But guess what? The majority of all college grads move somewhere far from where they grew up, and far from where they went to school. It's not usually viewed as brave or tough, just how things work. And they usually move to cities where there are plenty of different kinds of jobs. Which is why I questioned the economic data. I was partly right and partly wrong and partly it all depends on defining what a "job" actually means; an area with a low unemployment rate and "lots of jobs" may have little to do with the specific job a specific person with specific training is looking for. Or the myriad other reasons we end up in a place.
So at the end of the day, this isn't about whether you can have it all; I believe you when you say you do, however that's defined in your subjective reality. And perhaps more western members feel that way too. But so do I. I wish you conceive of that, that I love to ski, but I love other aspects of my life more, and that in all sincerity, I don't envy you your choices and I don't think skiing out west is better, I think it's different. Like I said, not placing the west at the top of my life's list of gotta's is heresy in a place like Epic, but there it is.