The skier ahead has the right of way - Rule #2 of the Responsibility Code.
Responsibility Code # 2
PEOPLE AHEAD OR DOWNHILL OF YOU HAVE THE RIGHT-OF-WAY
YOU MUST AVOID THEM.
It is every skier or rider's individual responsibility to know the right-of-way on the slopes. When approaching others, it is the uphill or faster rider's duty to avoid a collision.
Mt Hood Meadows has many designated and groomed trails while the rest of our 2000 acres exist as natural and unmaintained "off-piste" terrain. When traveling on groomed trails the trail direction is usually obvious. Those ahead of us are more easily identified because of our shared direction of travel.
In off-piste terrain, direction of travel can be more varied. The off-piste slopes of Mt Hood change aspect (direction) and steepness often. We have a super fun natural playground here with terrain that flows over ridges, through gullies, and around trees, rocks, creeks and cliffs. Off-piste riders must have an acute awareness of their surroundings due to the changing terrain. We must frequently look around to identify others and anticipate where they are headed. Regardless of one's direction of travel through off-piste terrain, be aware and always give right-of-way to those ahead and downhill of you.
When approaching others below you or moving slower than you, give sufficient space for your speed so that you can avoid collisions no matter what those ahead or downhill may do. Practice defensive riding techniques to maximize your safety; keep your head on a swivel and anticipate the actions of others.
Oregon Law explicitly states that "skiers shall not overtake any other skier except in such a manner as to avoid contact." Hood River County Ordinance states that "all skiers have a duty to … refrain from acting in a manner which may cause or contribute to the injury of others."