Originally Posted by skimuggle
When we say "skiing faster" are we talking about speed across snow or speed down the hill.
Groomer Guy could be travelling faster across the snow but much slower downhill due to longer distance.
So Bump guy could be travelling faster down hill and have passed the groomer guy skiing the straighter line.
This is an important observation. Faster needs to be understood as speed of descent. It's the skier overtaking a downhill skier who is required to yield, regardless of the actual radar speed they may be traveling.
The downhill skier has the right of way, no matter what they're doing or type of turns they're making. It's up to the uphill skier, if overtaking, to employ enough of a buffer zone to easily avoid them. There are no "lanes" on a ski slope, of which downhill skiers are restricted from entering and cutting an uphill skier off. Downhill skiers can make any unexpected move, or sudden long across the hill traverse they like. If an uphill skier collides or comes too close to a downhill skier in trying to pass them, it's Mr. Uphill's fault.
That said, for your own safety, employ that policy in interacting with the skiers below you, but don't expect those above you will return the favor. Way too many people don't understand the rules of the hill, so don't rest your well being solely on an expectation they do. When I'm making big sweeping turns on a crowded run, I don't just exercise my downhill responsibility, I also keep a look over my shoulder from time to time to the uphill side, keeping an eye out for approaching out of control idiots. When I intend to execute a sudden change of turn shape and shoot across the slope I definitely do an uphill check to make sure things look clear. Not because I'm required to yield, but because I have no faith in others to meet their obligation.
It's the simple defensive driving lesson we learned when we first learned to operate a car. Expect the other guy to do something stupid, watch for them to do it, and don't let them hurt you. Looking over your shoulder in the situations I described is not your obligation, and it can actually be a difficult thing to do if you don't have the skill to do it, but if can, and if you do, it can save you from the guy who's skiing too fast for his skill level, doesn't know the rules of the slope , and couldn't avoid you if he did.