Top Slovenian Alpinists Aim for Chobutse in Nepal’s Rolwaling Valley

Slovenian alpinists Luka Strazar, Nejc Marcic, Marko Prezelj, and Matija Volontar are currently in Nepal’s Rolwaling Valley. They have several alpine-style ascents in mind, but their main goal is 6,686m Chobutse (sometimes spelled Chobuje or Tsoboje).

The foursome set off for the mountain last week and intends to remain there until November 5. To prepare, they first plan to climb nearby Kang Nachugo, leader Luka Strazar told Planinska zveza Slovenije.

“From the summit, we will get a good view of Chobutse’s West Face,” he said, suggesting that this could be what the Slovenians plan to climb.

Strazar previously visited Rolwaling in 2015. It is a favorite spot for him, thanks to its “simple logistics and first-class objectives”, compared to the more popular — and crowded — Khumbu Valley.

Left to right, Marko Prezelj, Nejc Marcic, Matija Volontar and Luka Strazar. Photo:


Seven Piolet d’Ors Among Them

Strazar, Marcic, and Prezelj are among the most renowned high-altitude, alpine-style experts nowadays. They hold a total of seven Piolets d’Or among them (Prezelj has four). Younger Matija Volontar has been climbing non-stop around the world since he was named “Slovenia’s most promising alpinist” in 2016.

Four previous expeditions have climbed Chobutse. A German team made the first ascent in 1972 via its NW Face and the North Ridge. Two subsequent expeditions climbed the SW Ridge.

Then, most remarkably, Mingma G soloed — and traversed! — the mountain in 2015, climbing up the West face and descending via the SE side. He completed the climb in a single push with two bivouacs. He brought no bivy gear because he had thought he could reach the top and descend in one day. As it was, he had to make an epic descent in a whiteout. “It was my most dangerous climb and also my biggest mistake,” Mingma G told the Himalayan Database after he returned. They listed it as the first technical solo ascent by a Nepali Sherpa.

Now, the Slovenian team will try to write a new page on the mountain’s list of ascents.

The bold solo ascent by Mingma G up the West Face of Chobutse. Photo:

Angela Benavides is a journalist specialised on high-altitude mountaineer and expedition news working with

Angela Benavides has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of national and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporates, press manager and communication executive, radio reporter and anchorwoman, etc. Experience in Education: Researcher at Spain’s National University for Distance Learning on the European Commission-funded ECO Learning Project; experience in teaching ELE (Spanish as a Second Language) and transcultural training for expats living in Spain.

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8 months ago

Mingma G is the man of the hour, with his amazing feat on Manaslu! He should have been awarded Piolet d’Ors for a couple of his alpine-style firsts in lesser mountains … long ago!!! It is still not too late to recognize him. It’s a pity Piolet d’Ors awards only white climbers and there is not much objectivity in the awarding of this prize!

Last edited 8 months ago by Uttam