Pippin looked up, and it seemed to him that the sky had grown ashen-grey, as if a vast dust and smoke hung above them, and light came dully through it.
Ever and anon the furnaces far below its ashen cone would grow hot and with a great surging and throbbing pour forth rivers of molten rock from chasms in its sides.
Still far away, forty miles at least, they saw Mount Doom, its feet founded in ashen ruin, its huge cone rising to a great height, where its reeking head was swathed in cloud.
Behind it there hung a vast shadow, ominous as a thunder-cloud, the veils of Barad-dur that was reared far way upon a long spur of the Ashen Mountains thrust down from the North.
A few miles to the north-east the foothills of the Ashen Mountains stood like sombre grey ghosts, behind which the misty northern heights rose like a line of distant cloud hardly darker than the lowering sky.
They had reached a low ashen hill piled at the Mountain’s foot; but from it there was no more escape.