Towering 8,568m above sea-level, Kanchenjunga is more than just the world’s third-highest mountain. Its five peaks are shrouded in myth, considered so sacred that the first men to climb it, a British party from 1955, stopped short of the actual summit in deference to the deities of the mountain. Today, it represents one of the toughest of all the 8000ers and a must for any serious mountaineer’s bucket list.
A challenge for those who have scaled Everest
Kanchenjunga, which translates as “The Five Treasures of Snow” boasts no fewer than five peaks, four of which sit above 8,450m. Lying on the border between Nepal and India’s Sikkim state, it is not only one of the tallest mountains in the world, but also one of the most dangerous.
Very few tourists venture into this area of the Himalayas, and even fewer attempt the peak - there are usually only around 25 successful summits a season. This remoteness is one of Kanchenjunga’s great appeals for serious climbers, but it also adds an element of risk. With a high percentage of avalanche and weather hazards, deciding who you climb with perhaps matters more here than anywhere else.