Mount Kangchenjunga

2021-01-05 | Published By: Bold Himalaya

Words are limited to describe the beauty of the third highest mountain in the world, Kangchenjunga. Kangchenjunga lives in the eastern Himalayas on the border between Sikkim state-and eastern Nepal. Moreover, it arises with an altitude of 8,586m/ 28,169 ft in a division of the Himalayas called Kangchenjunga Himal delimited in the west near the Tamur River, in the north by the Lhonak the Chu and Jongsang La, and in the east near the Teesta River. The Kangchenjunga mountain range is in the form of an immense cross, plus the arms of it extend north, south, east, and west. Besides that, Kangchenjunga is not only the name of one mountain, it collectively applies to the Kanchanjunga five peaks. Kangchenjunga is spelt as Kanchenjunga. The name of Kanchenjunga is received from four words of Tibetan origin: Kang-Chen-dzo-Nga or Yang-Chhen-dzö-Nga. It is interpreted in Sikkim as the “Five Treasuries of the Great Snow.” Moreover, three of the five peaks -Main, Central, and South right on the border, and the remaining two- West and Kangbachen is in Nepal's Taplejung District. Similarly, its name in the Limbu Language is Senjelungma or Aeseylungma. Kangchenjunga, the official spelling was approved by Douglas Freshfield, Alexander Mitchell Kellas, and the Royal Geographical Society. Additionally, Kangchenjunga was assumed to be the highest mountain in the world until 1852. But in 1849 calculations based on multiple readings and measurements presented by the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India came to the conclusion that Mt.Everest (known as Peak XV at the time), was the highest. Supporting for further confirmation of all calculations, it was officially announced in 1856 that Kangchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world. Moreover, Kanchanjung mountain holds a significant place in the mythology and religious ritual of the local inhabitants. As the area around the Kanchanjunga mountain is said to be home to a mountain deity, called Dzo-Nga or Kangchenjunga Demon. Also, in 1925, a British geological expedition spotted a bipedal being which they questioned the locals about, who referred to it as the 'Kangchenjunga Demon.

- Mount Kanchanjunga Highlights


·       Kangchenjunga-third highest mountain in the world

·       Kangchenjunga is not only the name of one mountain, it collectively applies to the Kanchenjunga five peaks

·       Kanchenjunga was assumed to be the highest mountain in the world until 1852. Later, The Great Trigonometrical Survey concluded its             Mt. Everest(8,884m) highest one

·       It is the least summited top after Mt. Annapurna (8,091 m)

·       First ascent- Joe Brown and George Band, on 25 May, 1955

·       First ascent without oxygen- 16 May 1979, Doug Scott, Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker (also establish a new route on the North Ridge

·       First solo ascent( without supplementary oxygen)- Pierre Beghin,1983 

·       Edurne Pasaban- First women to summit twelve eight-thousanders reached the summit in 2009

Geography of Mount Kangchenjunga

The Kangchenjunga mountain section of the Himalayas lies both in Nepal and India. It includes 16 peaks over 7,000 m/23,000 ft. Besides that, Kanchenjunga Mountain is limited by the Lhonak Chu, Goma Chu, and Jongsang La in the north, and by the Teesta River in the east. Also, Kanchenjunga’s western border runs from the Jongsang La underneath the Gingsang and Kangchenjunga glaciers including the rivers of Ghunsa and Tamur. Again, Kanchenjunga stands about 20 km south of the general alignment of the Himalayan range around 125 km east-southeast of Mt. Everest as the bird flies. And, South of the southern face of Kanchenjunga rolls the 3,000m/9,800–3,500m/11,500 ft high Singalila Ridge that distributes Sikkim from Nepal and northern West Bengal.

Kangchenjunga and its peak forms a huge mountain range. As mentioned above, the height of the Kangchenjunga Main is 8,586m/28,169ft.  Likewise, Kangchenjunga West (Yalung Kang) at an elevation of 8,505m/27,904, Kangchenjunga Central (8,482m/27,828ft), Kangchenjunga South (8,494m/27,867ft), and Kangbachen (7,903m/25,928ft) are part of Kangchenjunga mountain.

 The main Kangchenjunga ridge runs from the north-northeast to the south-southwest and forms a watershed to various rivers.  Besides that, these ridges include a host of peaks between 6,000m/19,685ft and 8,586m/28,169ft. Additionally, four main glaciers radiate from the peak, aiming unevenly to the northeast, southeast, northwest, and southwest. The Zemu glacier (the largest glacier in the Eastern Himalaya) in the northeast and the Talung glacier in the southeast drain to the Teesta River. Similarly, the Yalung glacier in the southwest and the Kangchen glacier in the northwest drain to the Arun and Kosi rivers. Also, the Kangchenjunga mountain had 120 glaciers in which 17 are debris-covered.

Kangchenjunga is the third highest peak in the world but, Kangchenjunga Main is the highest elevation of the Brahmaputra River basin. Besides that, Kangchenjunga is among the largest tributaries of the Ganges. It is also part of the Ganges Basin and is located in the basin of the Koshi River.        

Exact Location of Mount Kangchenjunga

People around the world might be confused about the exact location of Mount Kangchenjunga. Is it in Nepal or India? The third highest in the world, Kangchenjunga is lies between Nepal and Sikkim, India. Kangchenjunga is not just a mountain. It is the mountain range of five mountain- Kangchenjunga Main(8,586m/28,169ft), Kangchenjunga West (8,505m/27,904ft), Kangchenjunga Central (8,482m/27,828ft), Kangchenjunga South (8,494m/27,867ft), and Kangbachen (7,903m/25,928ft).  So, three of the five peaks- Main, Central, and south are directly located on the border of Nepal and Sikkim. Then, the remaining two Kangchenjunga West and Kangbachen are situated in Nepal's Taplejung District. 

Additionally, Kangchenjunga is in the eastern Himalayan range. It lies around 125km southeast of great Mt. Everest. And the main range of Kanchenjunga moves from northeast to southeast, later forming watersheds to rivers.       

Flora and fauna

Kangchenjunga Expedition allows you to encounter the diverse flora and fauna of the region. The surrounding area of the Kangchenjunga mountain is packed with a variety of vegetation and wildlife to all extent.  Moreover, the Kangchenjunga Conservation Area is a protected area in the Lapse of Mt. Kangchenjunga. So, the area is inhabitant by various rare species.  Moreover, the green mountains are full of grasslands, coniferous forests, and pastures, and under their various species of animals are surviving. Animals such as snow leopard, musk deer, black bear, red pheasant, red panda, etc. are found in the area.  Also, the Melanistic leopard, the high altitude living cat can also be seen rarely

Additionally, the area is popular for bird lovers. The golden-breasted Fulvetta, snow cock and blood pheasant, and various other birds might be seen in the area. Besides that, varieties of rhododendron, orchids, and many other inked the forest.   

Weather and Climate

As you all know that the weather and climate of high altitude regions are always unpredictable. There is no consistent weather even in the same season. With the increase in altitude, temperature and weather change, and vice versa. Yet, the temperature of Kangchenjunga can go below -25 degrees Celsius in the upper altitudes. Plus, the temperature on the mountain stays below minus degrees throughout the entire winter. And this temperature is normal in the mountain. Then again, in summer, the area gets regular rainfall. So, throughout the summer monsoon season rainy days, there is heavy snowfall in the mountain. In the winter, the snowfall is less burdensome. Nevertheless, the weather at Kanchenjunga can be quite unpredictable.

Climber’s attraction

Mount Kangchenjunga, the third-highest mountain lies amid a beautiful area that is filled with species-rich flora and fauna. Kangchenjunga is also famous as the 'Queen of the mountains' and 'Five treasure trove of the great snow'.  Besides that, Kangchenjunga is not only the third highest mountain in the world but also the only mountain that can own four peaks over 8,000m in height. If you’re a climbing lover, you should try out this climbing trip. Joe Brown and George Band made the first ascent on May 25, 1955, followed by Norman Hardie and Tony Streather on May 26. Kangchenjunga Expedition leads through one of Nepal’s most beautiful routes, including the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area. Also, you will have marvellous views of Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, and 14 other eastern Himalayas 

History of Expedition

Kangchenjunga, Kangchenjunga Expedition, Kangchenjunga Trekking, Kanchenjunga Trekking,

Kangchenjunga expedition was a Himalayan mountaineering expedition aimed to climb Kangchenjunga in 1905 but would only be climbed in 1955. Joe Brown and George Band made the first ascent on 25 May 1955. Moreover, the ascent proved that Aleister Crowley’s 1905 route was viable. Then again, Yutaka Ageta and Takeo Matsuda of the Japanese expedition summited Kangchenjunga West, also called Yalung Kang, by climbing the southwestern ridge in 1973. But, Matsuda's body was never found nor he returned to camp. The difficult ridge that defeated German expeditions in 1929 and 1931 was submitted by an Indian Army team led by Colonel Narendra Kumar in 1977. It was the second ascent of Mount Kangchenjunga. The first ascent without supplementary oxygen and third ascent of Kangchenjunga was on 16 May 1979, by Doug Scott, PeterBoardman, and JoeTasker establishing a new route on the North Ridge. Similarly, Pierre Beghin made the first solo ascent without using supplementary oxygen in 1983. Slovenian Marija Frantar and Joze Rozman attempted the first ascent by a woman in 1991, but their bodies were later found below the summit headwall. Edurne Pasaban became the first woman to summit twelve eight-thousanders reached the summit of Kangchenjunga in 2009