TORNGAT MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK

At 9,700 square kilometres, this park is wedged between the Labrador Sea and Quebec. Named for the Inuktitut word Torngait, meaning “place of spirits”. The park has the only non-polar glaciers east of the Canadian Rockies. There is little in the way of infrastructure – no trails, picnic sites or interpretive signage. In 2005, the people of Nunatsiavut, the Labrador Inuit’s tradtial territory, signed the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, which included provisions for the formation of Torngat Mountains NP. In 2015, on its 10th anniversary, it became the only national park in Canada with entirely Inuit management and staff. There are four contemporary Labrador Inuit settlements.
Base Camp is at St. John’s Harbour on Saglek Bay, just ourside the park boundary. Getting to the camp involves a flight to an isolated airstrip next to a DEW Line station, followed by a 45-minute boat ride. The camp is surrounded by an electric fence for bears. No tourists or visiting scientists are allowed to venture beyond the fence without an armed Inuit escort. Base camp is open for just six weeks in the summer and fewer than 700 people visited the park in 2015. The Labrador Inuit are the only ones allowed to carry firearms in the park. The Inuit retain the right to hunt within the park for seal, ptarmigan and perhaps, again some day, caribou, if the George River herd ever rebounds from its still unexplained decline. They also fish for delicious Arctic char that spawn in abundance in rivers and streams cutting through the mountains. Animals include black bear, polar bear
Plans are in the works for a 4-6 hut backcountry hiking route starting north of base camp at Little Ramah Bay and heading inland toward Mount Caubvick, the highest point in the park at 1,652m. Everything that happens in the park is underpinned by a cooperative management between the Inuit and federal government.
Ramah chert is unique to the Torngats and has been found as far away as Maine and Trois-Riveieres, Que. There is a human presence dating form 7,000 years. Home to some of the world’s oldest rocks dated at 3.9 billion years. Sallikuluk or Rose Island is one of the park’s more significant cultural sights with graves and traditional sod houses that were occupied as far back as the 1600s. 113 Inuit rest here, repatriated in 1995, more than 2 decades after archeologist Jacob Edson Way exhumed them for study before eventually storing them at the University of Toronto and then Memorial University in St John’s.

About admin

I would like to think of myself as a full time traveler. I have been retired since 2006 and in that time have traveled every winter for four to seven months. The months that I am “home”, are often also spent on the road, hiking or kayaking.
I hope to present a website that describes my travel along with my hiking and sea kayaking experiences.

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