The ranges are divided by deep fjords and finger lakes which are bounded by spectacular rock walls. These fjords are the product of glaciation from the Laurentide Ice Sheet which covered all but the highest summits at least once, although during the last ice age the coverage was limited. Today there are over 70 small but active glaciers in the Torngat, shaded in deep cirques. Vegetation is sparse tundra with willow thickets in low sheltered valleys. Above 300 m the terrain is mostly rock desert. There are numerous caribou and many types of arctic vegetation. History: Torngat means "Place of the Devil" in Inuktitut. Evidence of tent rings and stone structures suggests the Torngat was occupied over 6000 years ago by Thule, Dorset, and Maritime Archaic settlements, and more recently Inuit settlements. The name means "Home of Spirits". In 1763 over 500 Inuit inhabited the fjords, but by the 1935 the number was down to 35, and today there are none. The closest settlements are Nain, which is 200 km south, and Port Nouveau in Quebec which is 100 km west. Inuit from Nain visit the fjords for the summer char fishery. There is an airstrip at Saklek used in offshore oil exploration.
Both the Canadian and Quebec governments have proposed parks to protect the natural beauty of the range. Torngat comes from the Inuktitut designation for the region, turngait, meaning 'spirits.' Inuit legends hold that in this region the spirit world overlaps our own.