Snowboarder Jamie Rolfe fell down a ravine in the French Alps, inquest told

Daily Echo: Chalet rep plunged 320ft to his death Chalet rep plunged 320ft to his death

A young ski chalet rep plunged 320ft to his death down a ravine where he used to go and look at the stars in the French Alps, an inquest heard.

Snowboarding fan Jamie Rolfe, 27, had shared a bottle of wine then drunk several pints and a shot at two bars and a nightclub.

He left a friend's house at 4.30am to walk to the 'End of the World' ravine and fell into it.

Film Studies graduate Mr Rolfe, had been spending the winter season working in his "dream job" at a luxury ski resort.

Jamie, from Newport, Isle of Wight, was making a snowboarding film while working for tour operator Skiworld at Les Deux Alpes.

He had gone out with friend Michael Turner at around 11.30pm and left L'Avalanche nightclub with pals to continue partying at Mr Turner's apartment around 2am.

He could have stayed overnight with the others, but chose to leave and Mr Turner walked him to the door.

Concerned friends, flatmates and Mr Rolfe's manager raised the alarm at 6.30pm the next day after repeated attempts to call him failed and a police search was launched.

His body was discovered 50-200 feet down the steep Venosc Combe Noire ravine, where he loved to go and look at the stars, on February 27, 2011.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Assistant Coroner Hugh Calloway said the spot, which offered "beautiful views", had claimed the lives of seven others.

Mr Calloway told the hearing in Newport: "The attraction of these places is the danger as well I suppose.

"Snowboarders have a sense of danger and also enjoy it and it's difficult to have the adrenaline buzz without the risk.

"This is tragic, an absolutely tragic death. It is easy to see Jamie was obviously a much loved person who enjoyed what he did and died doing it.”

Mr Rolfe's parents today said they were "shocked and devastated" by the death of their "bright and talented" son.

His father Roger Rolfe, 67, a retired therapist, described Jamie as a "lively free spirit" who loved his job and planned to move to China, where he had taught English, to be with his girlfriend.

The eldest of three children, he was making a snowboarding film and hoped to break into the Chinese film industry and live with girlfriend Xiao Bei, now 26.

Mum Christine-Mary Rolfe, who works for the NHS, said her son's friends had raised funds to put a memorial plaque at the spot. It carries his Chinese nickname, Dhengi, meaning "Little Rice".

There is a fence there but stargazers go past it to get a better view, the family said.

Mrs Rolfe, 60, said: "Hopefully this might make other young men more cautious."


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