Moonlight Mountain

Unnamed ridge
Unnamed ridge of Kispiox Mtn.

Yesterday I went up to Kispiox and hiked the Moonlight Mountain trail. I’m not sure the folks who showed me this trail would like its location publicized yet, so I won’t disclose precisely where it is, but it approaches Kispiox Mountain from the north.

The name “Moonlight” is a bit of a mystery, since there is no gazetted Moonlight Mountain, nor is there a Moonlight Creek, or any other “Moonlight” feature in the area. My theory is that it is a corruption of Moonlit Creek, which runs west from here into the Kitwanga River near Kitwancool Lake.

As the photo below shows, the rock here is composed of tilted – seriously tilted – strata. They vary from grey to deep black. So black, in fact, that I thought of oil, and then it occurred to me that these might be Bowser Basin sediments.

North Ridge of Moonlight
North Ridge of Moonlight — zoom in to see the tilted strata.

Bowser Basin sediments, for those of you who don’t live in northern BC, are the infamous rock unit that hosts quite a bit of coal, gas and oil — various kinds of hydrocarbons — and are responsible for much of the unwelcome interest that oil and coal companies have in northwest BC.

And sure enough, these rocks are Bowser Basin sediments. A map of that rock group (try here) shows that once you go north of Hazelton you are in Bowser territory. However, this area does not appear, thankfully, to host coal. (It probably does host recoverable oil or gas were one to use something like fracking.)

These beds are so beautifully up-ended and even perhaps overturned: you can see BC’s tectonic assemblage process in action.