The largest mountain chain currently known, the Icebarrier stretches from one side of the Hearthlands to the other, forming a natural wall. The warmer air behind the mountains, combined with the height of the range(an average of four miles) has slowed the advance of the snow and ice, but it has not stopped them completely.
There is permanent snow as low as 3,000 feet, even in summer, and in winter, the snows extend far into the foothills on the Hearthland side. The population (not including frost dwarves) consists mainly of trappers and hunters, who hunt bears and wolves for their fur and teeth, and mountain deer and wild goats for their meat.
Hellfrost Pass is the main route through the Icebarrier. Rarely more than half a mile wide, it snakes its way to altitudes of over 3 miles before descending again. Other passes do exist, but these are treacherous even in summer and impassable for as much as 11 months of the year.