Tolkien Gateway

White Mountains

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The White Mountains, a loose translation of the Sindarin Ered Nimrais "Whitehorn Mountains". The mountains are named after the glaciers of their highest peaks. The range lies mostly East-West, but also has a northern section, which is separated from the main line of the Hithaeglir "Misty Mountains" by the Gap of Rohan. Even at the southern latitude of Gondor and Rohan, the White Mountains bear snow even in summer, suggesting they are extremely high. The range has no passes. The Paths of the Dead pass under it, but only the most courageous (or foolhardy) ever venture that route. The White Mountains form the northern boundary of Gondor and the southern boundary of Rohan except in their easternmost provinces.

Its notable peaks include Irensaga "Iron Saw" and Starkhorn. Between these two lies the Dwimorberg, entrance to the Paths of the Dead. At the eastern end, the city of Minas Tirith is carved into Mindolluin mountain. The Warning beacons of Gondor are placed on top of seven peaks in the range: Amon Dîn, Eilenach, Nardol, Erelas, Min-Rimmon, Calenhad and Halifirien.

Several rivers rise in the White Mountains, among them the Adorn (a tributary of Isen), the Snowbourn and Mering Stream (tributaries of the Entwash), and, on the south side, the Erui, a tributary of Anduin, the Ringló and its tributary Ciril, which together with the Morthond all enter the Bay of Belfalas at Edhellond near Dol Amroth; the Lefnui of the Anfalas, and the Five Rivers of Lebennin.

In the Second Age, the White Mountains were populated by a people related to the Dunlendings who had been servants of Sauron. They swore allegiance to Isildur, but betrayed him and were cursed: they became known as the Army of the Dead, of the paths Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, and the rangers later took. Before the Dunlendings, the White Mountains had been home to the Púkel-Men or Drúedain.