I am curious as to feelings on the scenario depicted in this photo: http://www.alta.com/Images/Picoftheday/122304.jpg
"I know you can fight, its out wits that make us men."[/quote]
I'm with Bob. Minor violation. What you're looking at is Warm up under the Wildcat lift. The guy is dropping off a dwnhill catwalk and cutting skiers left to avoid the bumps.If you're going to bail, it's always thoughtful to bail out early, like he's doing. The area under the lift is groomed. There's lots of fresh on top and it's not evident that the bumps are there right away until you start eating your knees. Still, it's fun to GS that stuff. This shot was the fastest way to Germania lift before the new Collins lift and everbody just Mached it anyway you could.
The ettiquette thing is really about hiking. It doesn't matter if you like tight turns, swoopers, or go straight down. Going acrossthe hill, especially below the line,simply marks someone as a clueless gaper. That's all. There's no fine or penalty. In Utah you'll be hooted at. It's like someone in a line of traffic going onto the shoulder to pass everyone up.
And the rule is, downhill skier gets it first. There are often two traverses on a bowl- a lower one that requires little or no hiking and an upper one that's a real effort to get to. Nobody up high expects the lower skiers to yield a line to them. The only freshies you're guaranteed are the ones you hiked for, above the lower traverse. It's always good to look up when entering below a higher traverse to avoid someone landing on you. So in response to the original post, No, the downhill skier doesn't have to yield even if he was aware of you, but yes, cutting across fresh powder is bad form in general,especially to avoid a que. And then it's a matter of degree- cutting across to avoid an unmakable cliff or a thicket of trees, for instance. Not that I fly off cliffs much. This skier often will ski down to the edge, go sideways, and pull up under. Use your judgement.
By the way, the que on Devil's Castle looks hellacious, but the Castle is a big place.