14 eight-thousanders


8.586 m

“It’s a noble, tranquil mountain … when you’re looking up at Kanchenjunga, it seems impossible to climb. It’s made up of 5 peaks which are all over 8,000 metres. Amazing!”

Suffering and sucess

Ranking: 3 Elevation: 8.586 m
First conquered: The British climbers George Band and Joe Brown were the first to reach the summit of Kanchenjunga on the 25th of May 1955.

After considerable suffering, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu gave way to Edurne’s twelfth eight-thousander: Kanchenjunga (8,586 m). Here the climber from Tolosa went through “the toughest moments of her life” on what proved to be a complicated descent in adverse weather conditions. The team’s strength had previously been decimated during the 14-hour ascent, and Edurne returned home with frostbite, in a wheelchair and with practically no voice. However, she was even closer to achieving her goal.

Kanchenjunga is the third highest mountain in the world, the highest in India and the second highest in Nepal. It’s located in the Taplejung district, and its name translates as ‘five treasures of the snow’, as the mountain is made up of five peaks over 8,000 m.


The first ascent of Kanchenjunga took place on the 25th of May 1955, the British climbers George Band and Joe Brown being the first mountaineers to reach the summit.

Out of respect for the beliefs of the Sikkim, for whom the summit is sacred, they stopped short just a few metres from the top, a custom which continues to be respected by the majority of expeditions.

Wanda Rutkiewicz, considered to be one of the best female mountaineers of the 20th century, died on Kanchenjunga between the 12th and 13th of May 1992.

Summit climbed by Edurne Pasaban on the 18thof May 2009.