Kangchenjunga is third highest mountain in the world, and the most easterly of the 8000 meter peaks of the Himalaya. The name means Five Treasures of the Great Snow, a reference to its five summits. The name is also spelled Kanchenjunga, but according to the Himalayan Journal article, people who know the Tibetan language strongly insist that the ‘g’ should be there.
The huge massif of Kangchenjunga is buttressed by great ridges running roughly due east to west and north to south, forming a giant ‘X’. These ridges contain a host of spectacular 6-7000 meter peaks. On the East Ridge in Sikkim, is Siniolchu (22,600′ / 6888m), regarded as one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. The west ridge culminates in the magnificent Jannu (25,294′ / 7710m) with its imposing north face. To the south, clearly visible form Darjeeling, is Kabru (24,002′ / 7,316 m). The north ridge contains The Twins and Tent Peak, and runs up to the Tibetan border by the Jongsong La, a 20,080′ (6,120 m) pass.
Kangchenjunga does not have an “easy” route as the threat of avalanche is high. Since it is in the eastern Himalaya it receives the brunt of the monsoon moisture. The summit is considered sacred by the people of Sikkim. Early expeditions that climbed the mountain stopped a few feet from the top to respect this belief
First Ascent. In 1955 Charles Evans, who was in the first team to reach the South Summit of Everest in 1953, led another British expedition to the Yalung face, setting base camp in April. They avoided the huge lower icefall by climbing to the west of a prominent buttress and over a feature they named The Hump. They crossed an upper icefall, and set Camp 4 at the Great Shelf, a goal of the 1955 expedition. They continued, now on the east side of the glacier up a ramp called The Gangway. This allowed them to pass a curved cliff known as the Sickle, and Camp 6 was established at 26,900′ (8,199 m). On May 25, Joe Brown and George Band made the first ascent of Kangchenjunga, with Brown leading Very Severe (5.7-5.8) rock climbing. Norman Hardie and Tony Streather summit the next day, but they find a snow ramp and avoid the difficult rock. Respecting the wishes of the people of Sikkim, all parties leave the least few steps to the summit untrodden.