thank you for the welcome, and no, my name is not suzie.
uncle louie, i checked the National Ski Patrol site, and their code states that the skiers ahead of you have the right of way, but by that i think they mean the skiers downhill of you, not uphill or above you. as you're skiing down, the skiers ahead of you are downhill from you.
this is the current skiers code, straight from the NSAA website that is most often seen printed on maps and signs: (the 3 rules in discussion at least)
# People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
# You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
# Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
you are all completely right that the downhill skier has the right of way, however, the downhill skier still has to be aware that there are people above them in motion. think of it in driving terms: if you are minding your own business and someone cuts you off causing you to swerve to avoid them...is that your fault? as a bump skier, i can tell you that if i'm in a line, and you stop right in the middle of it, i may or may not have time to jump out of it or stop in front of you. is it my fault that my kinetic energy was greater than your common sense?
simply put, no matter what area of the mountain you're on...check above you before you merge, cross, start, stop, etc. just like driving. most good skiers already do this, because it is common sense.
also on the NSAA website is the new park code, called Smart Style.
LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP
Scope around the jumps first, not over them. Know your landings are clear and clear yourself out of the landing area.
EASY STYLE IT
Start small and work your way up. (Inverted aerials not recommended).
RESPECT GETS RESPECT
From the lift line through the park.this points out what a few of us have been saying all along: it is the jumpers responsibility to make sure their landing is clear. HOWEVER, don't stand in a landing area! this is a stereotype, but let's face it: behind every stereotype is a piece of truth. on busy holiday periods when there are more "tourists" on the mountain, many more people are in the park that are not used to being there. if i ask a parent (or anyone for that matter) to move out of a landing area, experience tells me i'm more likely to get barked at than i am during non-holiday periods.
and honestly, if you know who the real parkies are, you can see that there's respect for each other there. watch them and you can see no one cuts anyone off or stands in bad spots; they're more likely to use spotters, look out for each other and many are more than willing to offer tips.