Places in Middle-earth
Region: Other Middle-earth
Other Names Ered Nimrais
Location: The western border of Gondor, and up until the Mering Stream, the northern border as well. Starting nearly at the sea on the Cape of Andrast in the southwest, they curve north and east around western Gondor. The mountains separate Rohan from Gondor, and the bulk of Gondor from the eastern region of Anórien. The chain ends at Mount Mindolluin, although it appears that Emyn Arnen is a last, isolated, low peak of the same chain.
Description: "...and far off to the left, thirty leagues or more, blue and purple stood the White Mountains, rising into peaks of jet, tipped with glimmering snows, flushed with the rose of morning."
TTT, Book III, Ch 2, The Riders of Rohan
A black darkness loomed beyond, and in it glinted, here and there, cold, sharp, remote, white as the teeth of ghosts, the peaks of Ered Nimrais, the White Mountains of the Realm of Gondor, tipped with everlasting snow.
TTT, Book IV, Ch 6 TheForbidden Pool
The White Mountains existed in the First Age, although there may have been changes to the range with the sinking of Beleriand.
"Little is known of the wanderings of the Nandor, whom he led away down Anduin: some, it is said, dwelt age-long in the woods of the Vale of the Great River, some came at last to its mouths and there dwelt by the Sea, and yet others passing by Ered Nimrais, the White Mountains, came north again and entered the wilderness of Eriador between Ered Luin and the far Mountains of Mist."
The Silmarillion, Ch 10, Of the Sindar
Karen Wynn Fonstad points out in The Atlas of Middle-earth (revised edition), that to be snowcapped the mountains must have been at least 9500 feet in elevation.
Contributors: Lyllyn 2.21.04