Flightless in Northrend

Posted April 7th, 2010 by Kharin

Temple of Storms

Exploring Northrend without a flying Mount is not impossible – it just requires some time and determination.  Most areas in this continent are accessible by running/riding with the exception of a couple of areas in Sholazar Basin, most areas in Storm Peaks and the floating city of  Dalaran.  Here are some tips on how to explore these hard to get to areas before you can fly in Northrend.

[EDIT: Since the release of Cataclysm it is now possible to get Cold Weather Flying at level 68.  Obviously, this makes a big difference to exploring Northrend however for toons who have not yet reached 68 it is still possible - see below.]

Sholazar Basin

The two areas that present a challenge in the Basin are Stormwright’s Shelf and Maker’s Overlook. (While The Maker’s Perch is set inside the cliff face on the western side of the Basin,  it can be discovered by edging along the cliff close to the structure.)

Stormwright’s Shelf is the high shelf or plateau on the western coast of Sholazar.  While it cannot be reached without flight it can be discovered by swimming or running (with water walking elixir, path of frost, levitate etc) northward up from the coast of Borean Tundra. Edge as close to the cliff face as you can between the first and second inlets (the one above Nesingwary camp and Seabreach Flow above Bittertide lake) that cut across the plateau in Sholazar until you get credit.  If you reach Icecrown, you have obviously gone too far.

Once you have the credit you might as well keep going to get the credit for Onslaught Harbor, Icecrown.  You can then either hearth, swim back or enter Sholazar Basin from either the Sholazar inlets by jumping carefully down the waterfalls.

Maker’s Overlook is another structure built into to the sheer cliff on the eastern side of Sholazar Basin just north of where Wintergrasp borders with Icecrown.  You can reach it by jumping down from Icecrown.  Make your way to area just south of (and below) the The Fleshwerks in Icecrown until you come to a point where you can see the roof of the Maker’s Overlook below – then jump down on top (using whatever fall mitigation abilities you have).   Druid feline grace and Barkskin worked well for my druid though my dwarf hunter fell like a stone – but either way I got the credit.  If you survive the fall you can hearth out or levitate/slow fall down to the ground.   Alternatively, for toons 77+ it is possible pick up the Reconnaissance Flight quest from at Vic at Lakeside Landing and then land the damaged plane on the Overlook (rather than at Rivers Heart as required by the quest).

Storm Peaks

For those level 77+

If you are level 77 but don’t yet have Cold Weather Flying – you can hire a flying mount from the “Honest” Max just outside K3 next to the Flightmaster which you can then use anywhere within Stormpeaks.  There is also an alliance only quest When All Else Fails available after finishing most of the K3 quests that blasts you to Frosthold on a rocket.  The Horde version blasts you to the Grom’arsh Crash-Site.  Both these quests are only available IF you already have Cold Weather Flying.

For those not yet 77

K3 and its surrounding areas is the only area accessible without a flying mount in Storm Peaks.  Though you can get credit for exploring both Sifreldar and Brunhildar Villages by running up the sides of the mountains between Crystalweb Cavern and Garm (beneath or to the side of these villages).

However, it is possible to take advantage of the flying ghost mount available within Sholazar Basin, Crystalsong, Icecrown and Stormpeaks.  Normally, if you run/fly to another spirit rezzer you just get transported back to the one nearest your body (sad but true).  However, you can overcome this by flying across the coast line and dying a second time from fatigue. [Since the introduction of the "return to graveyard function logging out and relogging back in before spirit rezzing will no longer work].  The basic strategy is to die after exploring the K3 area and then flying either north (to just west of Ulduar) or north-east (but being careful not cross into Zul’Drak or you’ll have to run back in to Stormpeaks ;p).  Once you die of fatigue you rez at the closest graveyard and use that as your starting point of exploration – avoiding or outruning mobs as best you can.    Make sure you get the flight path at Bouldercrag’s Refuge because then if you get the flight path at the Argent Tournament you will be able to fly back in later on.

From the spirit guide in the north (Snowdrift plains near Bouldercrag Refuge) you can ride/run in three directions:

  1. Westward across the plains & then jump carefully down the mountain into Icecrown to get the flight path at the Argent Tournament (this will connect with the flight path in Bouldercrag’s Refuge and Grom’ash Crashsite).
  2. Run southward to southern end of Snowdrift Plains, edge past Valkyrion toward Bor’s Breath, Rohemdal Pass and Frosthold.
  3. Run eastward past Mimir’s Workshop, the Inventor’s Library, the Terrace of the Makers to either the Engine of the Makers area or Camp Tunka’lo or Brann’s Basecamp.

From the spirit guide in the north-east you can run toTemple of Life and Howling Hollow while the one in the south-east you can run past Thunderfall to Dun Nifflelem, Valley of Winters, Brann’s Basecamp and then up to Camp Tunnka’lo and the Terrace of the Makers.

Apart from this basic strategy, there are 4 areas that require some extra effort  –Ulduar, the Engine of the Makers, the Temple of Storms and Frosthold.

Ulduar – run behind the spirit rezzer in the Snowdrift Plains along the northern cliff face always aiming eastwards towards the Temple of Wisdom (trying to mitigate fall damage).  If you do die rez as far east along that cliff face as you can.  Eventually you will get close enough to get credit.  The only way out is to hearth or spirit rez again and continue exploring.

The Engine of the Makers – make your way east from the Snowdrift Plains past Mimir’s Workshop and take the big flight of stairs to the east of the Inventor’s Library to the Terrace of the Makers.  On the western edge just past the Temple of Winter – jump carefully down the cliff to the Engine of the Makers area and move towards the large machine like opening in the middle of the plain.

Temple of Storms – make your way south-westward past the Engine until you come to the Abandoned Camp (keeping an eye out for the Dark Iron Dwarves) – move up the northern face of the mountain just above the Abandoned Camp until you get credit for the Temple of Storms.

Frosthold – to get credit for Frosthold (without dying ;p) you can run west to the end of Rohemdal Pass (avoiding the harpies ) then jump down ledge on the southern side (your left) and work your way up the mountain side towards Frost Hold till you get the credit.  With a bit (or a lot) more effort it is possible to enter Frosthold itself (to get the flightpath or visit the Elder) by kiting a harpie against the southern wall close to the eastern entrance to Rohemdal Pass as high up as you can go and then rez higher up.  You may need to do this more than once and it obviously works best with strong ranged attacks.)   This is not for the fainthearted or for the sensible but it is achievable. I was able to do with my hunter but not my priest (as she couldn’t maintain aggro on the harpie long enough). (Grom’ash Crash-Site is as hard to get to as Frosthold without a flight but it is not necessary for the Explore Storm Peaks achievement.)


The simple way to do this is to ask/pay a helpful (74+) mage to port you to Dalaran.

However, there is another way which is accessible to toons at any level.

Take the boat to Valliance Keep or the Zeppelin to Warsong Hold making sure you get the flight point when you arrive.  The simplest thing is to spirit run to Crystalsong.  However, with a bit more effort you can get the connecting flight points to Dalaran on the way.   Just run/ride (corpse run if necessary) to Unu’pe, once again making sure you get the flight point.  Take the boat from Unu’pe to Moa’ki Harbour and get the flight point there.  Now ride north – you can try to run to Wyrmrest Temple for that flight point and then run north along the Path of the Titans, cross the eastern end of the Crystal Vice and jump/leviate into Crytalsong or just ghost run straight to Crystalsong.    Once in ghost form in Crystalsong Forest you have two possibilities – you can fly to the point in Icecrown just behind the Keep in Wintergrasp (being careful not to cross into Wintergrasp too soon or into Dragonblight as you will lose your flying mount).  If your faction has the keep you can fly/jump down behind the keep to the Spirit rezzer there and be automatically resurrected – then run to the Keep & use the portal to Dalaran[Alternatively, you can just fly straight to Dalaran, log out & re-log, then spirit rez at the guide between the Violet citadel and the Magnus exchange - see comments above.] Once you have arrived, set your hearth stone to Dalaran and go to Krasus Landing to get the flight point.  If you have the flight points for Valliance Keep or Warsong, Unu’pe, Moa’ki you will be able to fly back into Dalaran whenever you wish.  Mages can at 71  get the atunement quest Attunement to Dalaran at Star’s Rest or Agmar’s Hammer. Once 74 any player can get the quest the Magical Kingdom of Dalaran which will teleport them there and can then learn to use the crystals which allow you to port in and out of Dalaran from the Violet Stand by completing Learning to Leave and Return the Magical Way.

Now you have done the hard bits.  The rest of Northrend can be explored through more conventional means.  Obviously the higher the level of your toon the easier it is to ride around this frozen continent without attracting aggro and surviving attacking mobs.  However, you may well be surprised what you can achieve despite your level.


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8 Responses to “Flightless in Northrend”

  1. Samatman

    Thanks for posting this walkthrough of the difficult areas to hit for the explorer achievement. I did this originally when WotLK came out (at level 70) and am doing it again on a level 1.

    I also use the Wintergrasp portal to Dalaran on all of my characters who are too low level to get there by other means. You just have to make sure there isn’t a battle going on before “dropping” in as you get ported out immediately if you are lower level (under 78?).

  2. Kharin

    Good point Santaman about avoiding Wintergrasp while a battle is happening as any noncombantants will be teleported to a point in Icecrown just north of the Wintergrasp Fortress. This can get sticky if higher level player of the opposite faction is teleported around the same time.

    All the best with the explorer achievement on your level 1 toon – it can be done but takes a lot of dedication, perservence and time! Definitely an achievement.

  3. david

    I would dare to say that Storm Peaks is the hardest map to explore…I know this post its been here for a while but if the author read this, can you upload some pictures please? There are two videos on the net explaining how to explore the Temple of Storms.

    1)the first one implies that you must get killed by a group of mobs in an specific location so you can revive in a hard to reach area, but it seems that in more recent patches those mobs have been removed so this is a dead end.

    2) the second video explains how to get to the Temple of Storms from the Engine of the Makers, but it does not explains how to get to the Engine in the first place…so can you give a little more detail on this?

  4. Kharin

    Hi David

    Yes, it is a while since I wrote this post. I know of only one way of receiving credit for Temple of Storms without flying – as I say “make your way south-westward past the Engine until you come to the Abandoned Camp (keeping an eye out for the Dark Iron Dwarves) – move up the northern face of the mountain just above the Abandoned Camp until you get credit for the Temple of Storms.”

    To reach the Engine of the Makers “make your way east from the Snowdrift Plains past Mimir’s Workshop and take the big flight of stairs to the east of the Inventor’s Library to the Terrace of the Makers. On the western edge just past the Temple of Winter – jump carefully down the cliff to the Engine of the Makers area and move towards the large machine like opening in the middle of the plain” – you keep moving west past the large opening into the ground to reach the Abandoned Camp.

    For a while it was possible to kite some Harpies to the escarpment below Frosthold so that you could res inside Frosthold but that is not possible anymore. I don’t think though that you could do that with Temple of Storms as it is very very high.

    Here’s a link to a map of Storm Peaks http://wow.gamepressure.com/map.asp?ID=119 – look at the central area to The terrace of the maker, then west of that the engine of the maker and slightly north-west the Temple of Storms.

    Hope that helps


  5. david

    :) thanks a lot

  6. Ai

    Hello, thanks for uploading, you helped me a lot! I’m only level 20 but I’ve earned the achievement today :)

    Although, it seems I didn’t get the reward, maybe it is because of my low level?

  7. Kharin

    Congratulations Ai – a great effort at level 20. Glad to be of help.

    As for the tabbard – have you checked your mail? I don’t think there is a level requirement on receiving it.


  8. Ai

    Oh I see… Starter Edition ‘can’t perform that action’ so yeah… I can’t open my mail ^^” But it was fun anyway :)