Statues of Ice (310mm)
The MV Ptarmigan gets very close to Portage Glacier, much closer that the Norwegian Sun got to either Margerie or Hubbard.
Beautiful blues (330mm)
This proximity allows for some spectacular closeups of glacial ice and its incredible bluish tints.
Beautiful blues (330mm)
Just how close did we get? Most of the photos below were taken at the 35mm equivalent of between 150 and 200mm. Some were shot at an equivalent of 330mm, and only one was taken at my Panasonic FZ1000’s maximum zoom range of 400mm. Yeah, we got that close. Below is today’s gallery. Click to enlarge and begin the slide show.
Brown on Blue (146mm)
Tons of ice reducing granite to dust (154mm)
Tall Wall of Ice (180mm)
Ice on the rocks (180mm)
Portage Glacier (325mm)
Portage Glacier at the south end of Portage Lake
We disembarked from the Norwegian Sun at Seward, Alaska, on Monday, June 6. Our good friends Al and Lisa Fittipaldi, Ursula, and I snagged our rather expensive rental and started the drive north along the Kenai Peninsula headed for Anchorage. But we had two stops to make along the way. One stop was a detour to Whittier — charming, but not worth an entire blog post. Before Whittier, however, we would stop at the Begich, Boggs Visitor Center on Portage Lake in the Chugach National Forest. After a tour of the Visitor Center we continued on to catch the Portage Glacier cruise tour aboard MV Ptarmigan. It’s not exactly cheap, but the tour is worth the price of admission.
Waterfall cascading into Portage Lake
Along the way to the glacier MV Ptarmigan passes countless waterfalls descending into Portage Lake, one of which you can see above. The cruise boat also passes by some spectacular scenery and numerous small icebergs floating in a lake clouded by glacial silt, also known as rock flour. Aboard the cruise boat was a Park Ranger, who passed around samples of rock flour for tourists to feel.
Ice on Portage Lake
Eventually we approached the Portage Glacier, getting very close to the face of the glacier.
We’ll continue our tour of Portage Glacier on Wednesday. Until then, below is today’s gallery:
Portage Glacier with a ribbon of Moraine (rock debris)
Layers of Ice
Falling Ice along a six-mile wide glacial wall
Today I present some of my favorite photos of the Hubbard Glacier. Here’s today’s slide show:
Wall of Ice up to 350 feet above the water!