- "Therefore Feanor halted and the Noldor debated what course they should now take. But they began to suffer anguish from the cold, and the clinging mists through which no gleam of star could pierce; and many repented of the road and began to murmur, especially those that followed Fingolfin, cursing Feanor, and naming him as the cause of all the woes of the Eldar."
- —The Silmarillion Of the Flight of the Noldor
The Helcaraxë, Helcaracsë or the Grinding Ice was an icy waste between the lands of Aman and Middle-earth. Its exact nature is left a little unclear, but it seems to have been broken and shifting pack ice covering the northernmost parts of the Great Sea Belegaer.
The Helcaraxë was first recorded as having been crossed by Melkor and Ungoliant after they destroyed the Two Trees. After being abandoned by the House of Fëanor in Araman, Fingolfin and his people braved this frozen wasteland on their journey to Middle-earth. They endured great hardships here and lost many including Elenwë, wife of Turgon who perished in the crossing. The Helcaraxë greatly diminished the original Host of Fingolfin by the time they finally arrived in Middle-earth at the first rising of the Moon The Helcaraxë ceased to exist after the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age.
- ↑ The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter III: "Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
- ↑ The Atlas of Middle-earth, The First Age, The Elder Days, "Introduction"
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter IX: "Of the Flight of the Noldor"
- ↑ The Complete Guide to Middle-earth
- ↑ The Atlas of Middle-earth, The Second Age, "Introduction"