Kangchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world and rises to an elevation of 8,586 m (28,169 ft) in a section of the Himalayas bounded in the west by the Tamur River, in the north by the Lhonak Chu and Jongsang La, and in the east by the Teesta River. Its name is of Tibetan origin and means “The five great treasures of the high snows”. Kangchenjunga rises about 20 km south of the general alignment of the Great Himalayan range about 125 km east of Mount Everest.
The Kangchenjunga Himal stands both in Nepal and the state of Sikkim in northern India; it is a huge and complex mountain massif, the main summit and satellites encompassing 16 peaks over 7,000 m (23,000 ft). The main ridge of the massif runs from north-northeast to south-southwest and together with ridges running roughly from east to west they form a giant cross. These ridges contain a host of peaks between 6,000 and 8,586 m (19,685 and 28,169 ft). The western ridge culminates in the striking outlying peak of Kumbhakarna, also known as Jannu, 7,710 metres (25,300 ft); the northern section includes Yalung Kang, Kangchenjunga Central and South, Kangbachen, Kirat Chuli, and Gimmigela Chuli, and runs up to the Jongsang La. The eastern ridge in Sikkim includes the handsome if smaller summit of Siniolchu, 6,888 metres (22,598 ft), whilst the southern section which includes Kabru runs southwards along the Singalila Ridge and the Nepal-Sikkim border.
Four main glaciers radiate from the peak; the Zemu glacier in the northeast and the Talung glacier in the southeast drain to the Teesta River; the Yalung glacier in the southwest and the Kangchenjunga glacier in the northwest drain to the Arun and Kosi rivers. The glaciers spread over the area above approximately 5,000 m (16,000 ft), and the glacialized area covers about 314 square kilometres in total.
The photographs included in this section of the library were all captured within the borders of Sikkim during a pioneering trek along the Singalila Ridge from Darjeeling, over the 4,361 metre Danphe Bir Pass, and along the valley of the Prek Chhu to Samity Lake and the Goecha La Pass.