... isn't it odd that the Mansi would abandon several skis in the forest?
Were these such valueless items to the Mansi?
I agree with you. I think it is clear that the cedar location was used regularly by Mansi (or also other people). The old skis were probably there even before the DPI happened, also the fur covered by moss found by one of the researchers near the cedar indicates that the place was used by people before the incident. The clearing of the blueberry undergrowth that is visible on some of the Yakimenko photos (where the old skis are) was made by humans, also before the incident.
It would be a strange coincidence that the Dyatlov group leaves the tent and goes to the nearest forest, which also happens to be a some kind of camping place used by Mansi. The chance of that happening in a vast uninhabited areas is close to 0. Therefore I think that there are two possible explanations:
1. Dyatlov knew about this "camping" place, the original trip route was also planned to go via this location. In an emergency, the group decided to try to get to this place, hoping for survival.
2. The group was attacked by other people and ordered to descent to this location (for example with a gun pointed towards Zina's head, so that the tough guys in the group comply..).