A pair of large icebergs calved from Portage Glacier sometime Tuesday night or early Wednesday.
On Wednesday morning, the crew of the MV Ptarmigan, a glacier viewing tour boat in Portage Lake, thought the new icebergs were one large chunk of ice, said the captain, Marcelle Roemmich.
“As we got closer to it, we realized it was two different icebergs,” Roemmich said.
By Wednesday afternoon, the icebergs had drifted apart and Roemmich was able to safely steer the Ptarmigan between the pair, which were floating in several hundred feet of water.
“It’s what we call a shooter,” said Sage Harmon, a ranger interpreter narrating a Portage Glacier Cruises tour on Wednesday afternoon. Shooters are chunks of ice that calve off the glacier below the waterline, he said.
“We come out here every day, five times a day, so we can see the face of the glacier didn’t really change,” Harmon said.
“When I first started six years ago, icebergs like this were more common,” Roemmich said, “because the glacier ice extended out into the water further.”