Kanchenjunga, at 8586m, is the third-highest peak in the world and the second-highest in Nepal. It was first climbed by a British team in 1956. The peak consists of four summits. The west summit, Yalung Kang, is 8420m high and some people classify it as a separate 8000m. peak.
The first Westerner to explore Kanchenjunga was the British botanist JD Hooker, who visited the area twice in 1848 and 1849. Exploration of the Sikkim, side of the peak continued with both British and pundit explorers mapping and photographing until 1899. In that year a party led by Douglas fresh field made a circuit of Kanchenjunga and produced what is still one of the most authoritative maps of the region.
Exploration continued, mostly from the Sikkim side, with expeditions starting from Darjeeling in British India. One of the major contributors to Western knowledge about the region was Dr AM Kellas, who later died in Tibet during the approach march of the 1921 Everest expedition. German expeditions attacked the peak in 1929, 1930 and again in 1931, but none was successful. After that Sikkim was closed but Nepal was open. In 1955 a team led by Dr Charles Evans approached the peak via the Yalung Glacier. Two teams climbed the peak, stopping just short of the summit to conform to an agreement with the Maharaja of Sikkim that the summit would remain inviolate.
The Japanese then took up the challenge and mounted expeditions in 1967, 1973 and n1974. when they climbed Yalung Kang. A German Expedition climbed Yalung Kang in 1975, and in Indian army team mounted the second successful expeditions to the main peak of Kanchenjunga.