The Gallatin River in Montana was quiet and peaceful, and minding its own business when all of a sudden a wall of water, slush, ice, and debris came rushing down the valley in a rare freshwater tsunami. Jonathan Patten, having seen the high water in the river upstream, raced downstream to get ahead of the ice floe and captured video on his iPhone. The incident, caused when an ice dam broke, occurred around Christmas, but the video is just now surfacing, with the folks at Field & Stream bringing it to our attention. Watch, and listen to the approaching roar of the river:
The Gallatin River is a famous fly-fishing river, one on which parts of the movie “A River Runs Through It” were filmed.
Patten described what happened in comments under his post.
“I was passing by on the way to Big Sky,” he wrote. “It must have started 10 minutes earlier. I drove by a section of the stream and saw a brown roiled mess from bank to bank. I drove down stream and found people on a bridge, watching the ice pass under them. I continued down until I was in front of the ice. Lucky.”
Patten later wrote that when he passed the river at the entrance to Big Sky, Montana, two beavers were riding on top of the ice floe.
Unfortunately, he didn’t get video of that.