The valley was very deep and lay between mountain ridges leading up to the peaks of Bundushathûr in the north, and Zirak-Zigil in the south. The great peak Barazinbar which was also called Caradhras towered over the vale in the west. The Pass of Caradhras came down into that valley by the Dimrill Stair, a deep-cloven way that was carved by the Dwarves.
The river Silverlode which was called Kibil-nâla by the Dwarves, ran through the valley, east, through Lothlórien and into the Anduin. Its origins were in deep well of water not far from Kheld-zâram but as it flowed through the valley it was joined by many smaller mountain-streams and became a swift and powerful river. The old dwarf road lay alongside it.
In the early days of the valley was considered beautiful and sacred but by the later part of the Third Age it was barren desolate strip of land about five leagues long. A geographical buffer between the orc infested mines of Moria and the Forest of Lothlórien. The final and greatest battle in the War of the Dwarves and Orcs was fought in this vale in the 2799th year of the Third Age, and was called the Battle of Azanulbizar. In that battle the orc king Azog was slain by Dáin Ironfoot, and Thorin son of Thráin earned the name Oakenshield when he picked up an oak log to defend himself at the height of the battle.