The Rhone Glacier receded 9,000 years ago. Even then, life in Goms is sometimes hard. For example, not only was Obergesteln hit by avalanches, it also suffered two fires. Because the houses were not rebuilt with larch wood, Obergesteln is called “the Ticinese village in Valais”.
The Goms is situated where the Rhone river is still called the Rotten and the river resembles more of a wide stream than a wide river. The wide valley floor in the Upper Goms is not only suitable for agriculture, it is also a wonderful place for sport's enthusiasts to show off their skills.