Nepal’s second highest peak and the third highest in the world, Kanchenjunga is located in the northeastern corner of the Taplejung district. Its main ridges form a natural boundary between two states, as well as a watershed to several important rivers. Twelve miles north of Kanchenjunga is the Tibetan frontier. This runs along the main watershed of the Himalayas, separating the arid plateau of Tibet to the north and the more fertile and rain washed country to the south.
Kanchenjunga is a mountain of sheer beauty. It is great enough to posses its own glaciers radiating from its several summits. Though surrounded by many peaks, the glaciers which flow far down to the fringes of the tropical forests are the undisputed possession of Kanchenjunga. It is the only mountain that displays its glories to the world at large. Only those who can afford the time and expenses necessary to penetrate the remote fastness from which they spring can view the glories of Everest, but Kanchenjunga is to be seen easily from anyone in the lower foothills.
Kanchenjunga not only breaks the force of the monsoon, but protects the main watershed to the north from its onslaught to a great extent. The result of this is an extra ordinary variation of scenery and climate with in a small area. The dry, almost dusty hill at the head of the Lhonak Valley, The Dodang Nyima range and the plateau of Tibet beyond are in striking contrast to the valley that radiates southward from Kanchenjunga, for here is a dry reddish brown country with a snow level appreciably higher and glaciers considerably smaller than those of Kanchenjunga and its immediate neighbours. There is probably no other mountain where the mountaineer is exposed to greater dangers than he is on Kanchenjunga, for he not only has the ice avalanches to contend with, but general uncertain weather as well.
Roughly speaking, there are four main lines of approach of Kanchenjunga, up the valley of the Tamor river in Nepal, passing Ghunsa and Kangbachen, up the Yalung valley in Nepal, up the valley of the Teesta river in Sikkim, and up the Talung valley also in Sikkim. Between the Yalung and Talung valleys there is also the Rangit river, which has its sources in the glaciers of Kabru, 2400 feet, one of kangchenjunga’s out post peaks to the south. The span of Kanchenjunga area is 55% of the Taplejung district area and 1.40% of the total area of country. Its 65% area is covered by high Himalayas and mountain rocks and ice and remaining 45% is covered by forests, shrub-land, grass-land and agricultural-land. The climate of this area varies from subtropical monsoon at lower elevation to alpine in the higher areas.