In Middle Earth:

A passage through the highest peaks of the mountains north of Gondolin, winding narrowly between steep cliffs on one side and an abyss on the other. Also known as the Eagle's Cleft.

After the fall of Gondolin, Tuor and Idril led the survivors of the city through a secret passage to the mountains to the north. Though it brought the party treacherously close to Angband, it was judged safest since the raiding lords would not expect them to flee in that direction.

Unfortunately for the escaping party, Morgoth had set watchers in the mountains encircling Gondolin. The party was beset by Orcs and a Balrog in Cirith Thoronath. The heroic Glorfindel died defeating the Balrog atop a high peak overlooking the pass, and both their bodies disappeared into the precipice.

The party may still have been lost to the Orcs had not Thorondor, King of Eagles, brought his people to their aid. The Eagles successfully drove off the Orcs, allowing Tuor and Idril and their people to complete their escape through the mountains. Thorondor retrieved the body of Glorfindel from the abyss, and it was buried in stones beside Cirith Thoronath, and flowers and grass sprouted there amidst the boulders.
Re-written and expanded from The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

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