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Places in Middle-earth

Stair Falls, The

Type: Rivers & Lakes

Region: Arnor/Eriador/Lindon

Location: The falls of the Sirannon (Gate-stream) near the Walls of Moria; stairsteps had been cut into the rock alongside the falls as a shortcut to the West-door of Moria.

Description: ... they saw before them a low cliff, some five fathoms high, with a broken and jagged top. Over it a trickling water dripped, through a wide cleft that seemed to have been carved out by a fall that had once been strong and full.

'Indeed things have changed!' said Gandalf. ... 'There is all that remains of the Stair Falls. If I remember right, there was a flight of steps cut in the rock at their side, but the main road wound away left and climbed with several loops up to the level ground at the top. There used to be a shallow valley beyond the falls right up to the Walls of Moria, and the Sirannon flowed through it with the road beside it.' ...

They found the stone steps without difficulty, and Gimli sprang swiftly up them ... When they reached the top they saw that they could go no further that way, and the reason for the drying up of the Gate-stream was revealed. ... Before them stretched a dark still lake. ... Beyond the ominous water were reared vast cliffs, their stern faces pallid in the fading light: final and impassable. ...

'There are the Walls of Moria,' said Gandalf, pointing across the water. '... But this way is blocked.' ...

'We must find a way round the northern edge,' said Gimli. 'The first thing for the Company to do is to climb up by the main path and see where that will lead us. Even if there were no lake, we could not get our baggage-pony up this stair.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 4, A Journey in the Dark

Contributors: Elena Tiriel 3Jul04

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