While this beautiful mountain (also know as the Hinterer Bratschenkopf) is really only a second thought for most mountaineers (who have come to climb the Grosses Wiesbachhorn), it is definately worthy of the two or so hours it will add to your climb. It leans out over the lake known as Mooserboden almost 5000 feet (1400 meters) below. The sheer cliffs of its Northwest side are balanced by routes that are less steep on the Northeast and South. Many climbers traversing from hut to hut in this region will pass over the summit of the Bratschenkopf along the way. If you have just climbed the Wiesbachhorn, you will want to summit its neighbor the Bratschenkopf, turn around and take a good look at what you have accomplished. And for those of us who don't get that many chances to climb in the Alps, it is an easy way to experience another mountain. After all, there isn't much elevation left to conquer (about 600 feet) after reaching the Kaindlkees Glacier between the Wiesbachhorn and the Bratchenkopf.
I traveled by train from Munich, arrived in Zell am See and still made it to the hut before dinner (though I did run some of the way)... Give yourself time to get to Zell am See as the buses from there don't leave as often as I assumed they would. Travel with the bus to Kaprun (the nearest village). From Kaprun there are buses that go up to the Mooserboden near the trailhead. You will have to walk across a long (3K) dam that, while interesting in its own right, might annoy climbers who want to get to the trail...
Quick Facts (They Also Apply to the Wiesbachhorn)
The nearest trainstation is Zell am See. From there, take the Bus to Kaprun and then on to the Kesselfall-Alpenhaus (1033 m).
From the Kesselfall-Alpenhaus, take the bus to the Restaurant "Heidnische Kirche" (2040 m). You will get to take a bus elevator. It is amazing and you are not likely going to see many in your life, so enjoy the ride while it lasts. The tunnels aren't too shabby either.
There is no red tape. If you want to stay in the hut however, I recommend calling ahead, though midweek should not be a problem. See "Accomodations" for more info.
You could certainly camp on the mountain, the question is where? I know that some people stayed in huts down in the valley but really the best option is the Heinrich-Schweiger Haus. It takes 2 hours to hike up from the Mooserboden dam. But you can do it a lot faster if you have to. The food is awesome (even if you are a vegetarian) and everyone was very friendly. For those of us who don't usually have huts where we climb, I have included a few photos... Remember, don't wear your boots in the hut.
Telephone - 0043/6547/8662 (the 0043 is the country code for Austria).
Number of beds - approx. 80 (including rooms and dorm style bunks).
Season - Middle of June to the beginning of October. However there is a Winter shelter for climbers who are there outside of the Summer season.
To get even more info go to the DAV (German Alpine Club) website and click on "Hutten" (the site is in German). Once on the hut page, select the "Glocknergruppe" from the window that is called "Gebirgsgruppe." Look for the "Heinrich-Schwaiger Hutte."
- Basic Bratschenkopf Info
Good page but in German...
- Three Mountain Tour
This site has information about a good tour that takes you over the summits of three mountains, all of which are over 11,000 feet. As usual for sites about this region, it is in German.
- Classic Wiesbachhorn and Bratschenkopf Tour
This excellent page, posted and hosted by Hermann Zauner, is worth a look. Unfortunately for many climbers who don't speak German, this website and almost all Bratschenkopf sites are in this language.
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