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Outdoors/Adventure

Large icebergs are rare in Portage Lake nowadays. This week there are two new ‘shooters.'

Portage Glacier sits at the edge of Portage Lake on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019. "When I first started six years ago, icebergs like this were more common," said Marcelle Roemmich, captain of the MV Ptarmigan glacier viewing boat, "because the glacier ice extended out into the water further." In the last six years, Roemmich said, the glacier has receded about 600 feet. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

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.

One of two large new icebergs floats in Portage Lake Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019. The icebergs recently calved from Portage Glacier. ’It's what we call a shooter, ’ said Sage Harmon, a ranger interpreter narrating a Portage Glacier cruise Wednesday afternoon. Shooters are chunks of ice that calve from glaciers below the waterline. (Jeff Parrott / ADN)

“As we got closer to it, we realized it was two different icebergs,” Roemmich said.

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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.

Ranger interpreter Sage Harmon talks to passengers aboard the MV Ptarmigan during a glacier viewing cruise Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019 in Portage Lake. (Jeff Parrott / ADN)

“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.

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“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.”

Two large icebergs float in Portage Lake Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019. (Loren Holmes / ADN)
One of two large icebergs floats in Portage Lake Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019. The icebergs recently calved from Portage Glacier. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

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