The north-facing Arolla Valley (Val d’Arolla) is located at the head of the Val d’Hérens in the canton of Valais, SW Switzerland (see zoom-able map below). In the area covered by this virtual field trip, valley floor elevations range from 1960 – 2200 m asl, with the surrounding peaks reaching 3300 – 3600 m asl. Notable glaciers within the catchment include the Haut Glacier d’Arolla, the Bas Glacier d’Arolla, the Glacier de Tsijiore Nouve and the Glacier de Pièce.
This virtual field trip provides an opportunity to explore the landscape in the upper Arolla valley, mostly between the bridge and the area in the vicinity of the glacier snout (which is not well-defined). In addition, there are two higher-level routes that can be accessed via links (hotspots) from the first site in the virtual field trip. The first features some locations WSW of Arolla, with views of the Glacier de Tsijiore Nouve. The second (sites 28 – 48) incorporates a steep climb towards the Glacier de Pièce, although this is not reached due to snow cover.
The imagery for sites 1 – 27 was acquired in June 2017, with additional imagery (sites 28 – 48) collected in June 2018. You can download location data for each of the stops (for viewing in Google Earth, ArcGIS, QGIS etc), although location information is also provided within the virtual field trip itself. However, it is recommended that you take a little time to appreciate the excellent swisstopo maps of the area (see link below)!
You can also visit the Arolla Valley to see what it looked like in 2006. There is a separate link for this below.
UPDATE: A new virtual tour of the Arolla Valley was created in June 2023. You can access this below via a separate link.
In order to support the ongoing development of this site, it would be really helpful if you could let me know why and how you use the resource. I’d also appreciate hearing any ideas you may have for improvements. Thank you!
This website allows you to explore glaciers and glaciated landscapes using virtual field trips. High quality, 360 degree interactive panoramas (panospheres) allow you to look all around and zoom in on features of interest – a bit like Google Streetview ©.