Misty Mountains

The Misty Mountains stretched continuously for some 900 miles: from Carn Dûm in the north5 to Dol Baran in the south, and were a formidable barrier between the large Middle-earth regions of Eriador and Wilderland.

The northernmost section of the Misty Mountains ran from Carn Dûm to Mount Gundabad, and was known as the Mountains of Angmar. Mount Gundabad was where Durin awoke according to legend, though it was later an abode of Orcs. Mount Gram, another Orc nest, was not far away. Mount Gundabad was on the eastern side of the range, where it nearly joined the westernmost extremity of the Grey Mountains. The strategic gap was about 10 miles wide.

The greatest Dwarf realm in Middle-earth, Khazad-dûm, was located at the midpoint of the Misty Mountains. The area’s three massive peaks – the Mountains of Moria – were Caradhras (Redhorn and its pass), Celebdil (Silvertine) and Fanuidhol (Cloudyhead). Under Celebdil was the main part of Khazad-dûm; it included the Endless Stair, which the Dwarves built from the foundations of the mountain to its summit.

The southernmost peak of the Misty Mountains was Methedras (end-horn); from here the great range finally subsided into foothills, the last being Dol Baran. Here the southernmost foothills of the Misty Mountains looked across the Gap of Rohan to the northernmost foothills of the White Mountains.

The Misty Mountains had very few passes. The most important of these were the High Pass and the Redhorn Pass; there was also a pass at the source of the Gladden. There were actually two alternative routes in the High Pass; the lower pass6 was more prone to being blocked by Orcs; hence most travellers used the higher pass, except during those rare interludes when the Orcs were suppressed.

Misty Mountains

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