High Pass

Cirith Forn en Andrath rises from the Vales of Anduin in a winding road. In places, this road is little more than a dirt track or a scar on the landscape, but in others the ancient works of the Dwarves can still be seen. The road is well designed, and rises above bogs and other obstacles on a ridge of packed earth and stone.

The High Pass actually consists of two paths. The road originally ran along the sheltered lower pass, but over the centuries the Orcs encroached on it, and now the low road is riddled with secret caves and tunnel exits. Any traveller who braves the low road is almost certain to be targeted by Goblin archers, so it is only used in times when the Orcs are in retreat. The Battle of Five Armies opened up the low road for a time, but now it is perilous once again.

The high road is not a road at all — it is a mountain path, more suitable for sure-footed goats than most travellers! It climbs high above the valley below, almost into the land of the Storm Giants. Orcs and Goblins have few caves along this path (although, as Thorin and company discovered, they do have some!), so travellers are less likely to be molested, but much more likely to freeze to death or fall from a crumbling cliff.