Third Age 3019:
—The Host of the West comes to the Morgul-vale.
—Frodo and Sam escape from the Orcs. They start their journey across the Gorgoroth plain to Mount Doom.
“In the morning a grey light came again, for in the high regions the West Wind still blew, but down on the stones behind the fences of the Black Land the air seemed almost dead, chill and yet stifling. Sam looked up out of the hollow. The land all about was dreary, flat and drab-hued. On the roads nearby nothing was moving now; but Sam feared the watchful eyes on the wall of the Isenmouthe, no more than a furlong away northward. South-eastward, far off like a dark standing shadow, loomed the Mountain. Smokes were pouring from it, and while those that rose into the upper air trailed away eastward, great rolling clouds floated down its sides and spread over the land. 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 cloudy hardly darker than the lowering sky.”
[The Return of the King, LotR Book 6, Ch 3, Mount Doom]