I live in the east and ride once a year in the Canadian West.
So does riding in the East somehow make up for not being able to ride in the West?
In a word: no.
Yes we have ice and if we want to ride, then we have to ride ice. Do you learn fine edge control? yes. Do learning fine edge control make a difference? Yes, but nowhere near enough to make up the gap. There's just too much in the West that Easterners just don't get to experience: huge drops, deep powder, gnarly chutes, etc.
A westerner can come here and ride our ice (hating every second of it), but an Easterner is in for a learning curve on their first time on a real mountain in bottomless powder.