Alas, there was no way to get to the floating fortress from that side of the mountain so Captain Gamli and I had to go under it, past a small Thalmor encampment that was busy under multiple dragon attack. The real threat came from the path leading up just on the other side in the form of... skeletons.
An army of them!
And if you thought my 900+ damage, upgraded oblivion sword was overpowered you would be DEAD WRONG. These skeletons could survive multiple hits of that weapon, and forced me to use more of those health pots I enjoy packing. Yes, they are ULTRA skeletons! It took awhile but eventually all of them (and the Thalmor) were destroyed. In the chaos I'm not sure what became of Gamli, but I was pretty certain he died as he was no longer following me.
Finally at the base of the long bone bridge near Kagrenzel, I found some remains and a cryptic note mentioning nine keys and some demon lord trapped in the mountain. At this point the adventurous Bagamul Clearwater, one of the orcs from Adal Matar, joined me - having shadowed me through the small war. I shrugged and figured he could handle himself so we crossed the bone bridge and found ourselves standing on... Death Mountain!