Yikes! This almost happened to me the first time I went to Alpine Meadow. Took the Scott Chair intending to go down Scott Ridge Run, a blue. Trail wasn't very well marked and rode right to edge of the cliff at the top of Scott Chute, stopped myself just in time. I dropped to my knees and crawled back up, scared shitless! It's probably a good thing I wasn't all that good yet, or I might have been bombing it without being able to stop.
Following other people's tracks is never wise. We were heading down a valley a couple of years ago and at the end there's a cliff which is ideal to go off when there's plenty of snow and your the first ones down we went off it and by the time our group was down it was pretty bombed out. We then stopped for a break and watched a couple of skiers who'd followed our tracks get to the top of the cliff look over realise that it was no longer rideable and then proceed to hike back up one long ass hill.