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The east ridge of the Fuscherkarkopf looking towards Sinwelleck

Bratschen are weathering products that occur as a result of frost and aeolian corrasion almost exclusively on the calc-schists of the Upper Slate Mantle (Obere Schieferhülle) in the High Tauern mountains of Austria. The term is German but is used untranslated in English sources.[1] It may be the equivalent of the New Zealand climbers' term 'weet-bix' for a rock that disintegrates easily and so is difficult to climb on.

The calc-schist, that appears blue-gray when freshly broken, weathers to a yellow to brown colour and flakes off on the surface to form bratschen.[2]

These form steep (up to 40°), rocky, almost unvegetated mountainsides with an odd and rough-textured surface, caused by wind erosion. Bratschen are found on the mountains such as the Fuscherkarkopf, the Großer Bärenkopf, the Kitzsteinhorn, the Schwerteck or on the – eponymous – Bratschenköpfen.


  1. ^ For example here: Kendlspitze at Retrieved 12 Dec 2016.
  2. ^ H. P. Cornelius, E. Clar (1935), Geologische Bundesanstalt — Wien III, ed., [pdf, "Erläuterungen zur geologischen Karte des Großglocknergebietes"] (in German), Geologische Karte der Republik Österreich: pp. 10, pdf, Retrieved 2010-05-05 


  • Karl Krainer (2005) (in German), Nationalpark Hohe Tauern GEOLOGIE – Wissenschaftliche Schriften (2nd ed.), Klagenfurt: Universitätsverlag Carinthia, pp. 140, ISBN 3-85378-585-9