Ferpècle Valley

Valais, Switzerland
Ferpècle valley virtual field trip


The north-facing Ferpècle Valley is located in the upper part of the Val d’Hérens in the canton of Valais, SW Switzerland. This is classic alpine terrain, with narrow, high-elevation summits, most in excess of 3500 m. At 4357 m, Dent Blanche is the highest of these summits – and also arguably the most impressive.

The field trip starts at the dam at the end of the road (~1900 m asl) and then follows the western side of the valley as far as the Mont Miné glacier snout (~2100 m). This is just one of ten or so glaciers within the catchment; unfortunately, these are not visible from the valley-floor route taken by the virtual field trip.

The imagery for this virtual field trip was acquired in June 2017. 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. There are plans to extend this resource when time and finances allow.

UPDATE: There is now a virtual field trip that climbs the western slopes of the valley, carrying on beyond Bricola. The imagery was acquired in June 2022.

Start of Virtual Field Trip

Ferpècle Valley Virtual Field Trip

Ferpècle Valley Virtual Field Trip (2017)

This virtual field trip travels along the valley floor as far as the Mont Miné Glacier.

Ferpècle Valley Virtual Field Trip (2022)

This virtual field trip climbs up towards Bricola, with excellent views of glaciers and the wider landscape.


Google Earth file (.kml)

Download this file if you want to view the virtual field trip stops within Google Earth. KML files can also be used in other applications and web services, including SwissTopo.

Spreadsheet (.csv)

Download this file if you want to view the virtual field trip stops within GIS software, such as ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap, QGis etc. Can also be used in Google Earth.

SwissTopo website

Access to current and historic mapping, as well as other data, from the Swiss national mapping service. TIP: You can drag KML files onto the map

Swiss Glacier Monitoring website

Length variation measurements for the Mont Miné glacier.


This is a searchable database of resources for the Arolla and Ferpècle valleys. The resources include scientific publications, data, maps and photographs, and all are geolocated. This resource was produced by staff at the Faculty of Geosciences and Environment, University of Lausanne.
Picture of Dr Des McDougall (BSc, PhD, SFHEA)

Dr Des McDougall (BSc, PhD, SFHEA)

I'm a Physical Geographer at the University of Worcester (England, UK). Interests include mountain glaciers, mountain geomorphology and Quaternary environmental change. I'm also interested in the use of virtual reality in teaching.

Can you help?

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!