The Mountain

The top of Mount Todagin looks much like the surrounding mountains; an alpine plateau of rolling pampas grass punctuated with rock outcrops and exposed cliff faces. And yet it was once the floor of the ocean.

Water'n hole lg

Photo by Steve Ablitt.


V
aulted skywards on the shoulders of warring mountain ranges, the strateum just below the top of Todagin is laden with fossil deposits of ammonites the size of bicycle wheels.


U
nique in a land of uniqueness, it has been called “Serengeti in the Sky” for its rich abundance of caribou, mountain sheep, wolves, grizzly bear, wolverines and most of all Stone sheep.  Generically, the thinhorn Stone sheep are distinctly different from the Rocky Mountain Bighorn to the east, and their nearest neighbors to the west, the all white Dall sheep.  The Stone sheep’s closest genetic cousins are the Siberian snow sheep that live in Russia.

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Nursery Band of Stone Sheep. Photo by Paul Colangelo.


W
ildlife surveys indicate that Todagin supports the world’s largest lambing population of Stone sheep and its south slope, designated as a protected provincial park, is a congregation point for the surrounding Stone sheep during the fall rut.  Recognizing these qualities, the mountain has been designated for limited entry bow hunting only.

Obsidian-3

Obsidian. Photo by Taylor Fox.

 

Given the mountain’s rich wildlife populations and its close proximity to the obsidian fields of the ice-capped volcano, Mount Edziza, Mount Todagin has historically been essential to the cultures of the Tahltan and pre-Tahltan peoples who used the volcanic glass (called “Black Blood”) for indigenous hunting of the Todagin herds.