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

Alpine style Himalaya
Chobutse, in Rolwaling. Photo:

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:


About the Author

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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3 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 3 months ago by Uttam