Once upon a time, Kanchenjunga was considered the highest mountain in the world. This was before the startling discovery by chief computers (today they were replaced by machines) that Peak XV was actually higher than Kanchenjunga IX. Later it became clear that Nine Peaks was actually only the third highest peak after Everest and K2 (Karakorum, Pakistan). It is located 128 kilometers east of Mount Everest. The west is located in Nepal and the other is located in the Indian state of Sikkim. Kanchenjunga or Kangchenzonga means "The Five Treasures of the Great Snow" in Sikkim because the mountain has five prominent peaks. They are Kanchenjunga Main (8,586m), Yalongkang (8,505m), Kanchenjunga West (8,420m) and Twin Peaks (both 8,476m). Unlike most other Himalayan peaks, this mountain runs from north to south, where the Kanchenjunga Glacier joins the Tamur River, a tributary of Koshi. Many people considered climbing Kanchenjunga as early as 1882, but did not attempt it until 1905.
The first to go up the Yalung glacier was Alaister Crowley but he lost four men on the mountain; a Lieutenant Pache and three porters. For fifteen years, no one dared another attempt. In 1929, an American climber named Francis Farmer left behind his porters and climbed up the south face but was never seen again. Then Paul Bauer led a Bavarian expedition up the mountain later in the same year and reached the altitude of 7,700m. Following an unsuccessful attempt by Gunther Dyhrenfurth in 1930, Bauer made a second attempt in 1931. Hans Hartman and Dr. Karl Wien reached 7,990m before they were forced to turn back. With the outbreak of the Second WorldWar, there was no climbing in the Himalayas. The next attempt was made by Gilmour Lewis and George Frey in 1951 looking for an easier route to the top. He failed and returned two years later with John Kempe but met with no success. He returned once again in 1954 with a new team of climbers but luck was not on his side. Fifty years after the first attempt, in 1955, a British expedition took off, led by Charles Evans, who had been a member of the successful expedition on Everest two years earlier. Two Britons, George Band and Joe Brown finally made it to the summit of this difficult mountain. Given the fact that the Sikkimese considered the mountain very sacred, the summiteers refrained from stepping right up to the top. They stopped five vertical feet below the summit on 25th May. Finally, Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world, had been conquered. The first Nepali to climb this peak was Ang Phurba Sherpa on 14th May 1980.