2019, September, Fluorite, Weisseck
At the beginning of September 2019, I was out on the Weisseck Mountain with Gerhard Aschacher and Alois Krendl to look for fluorites. Gerhard wanted to show me an old cleft on the Weisseck that he had discovered many years ago. The cleft had already been cleared by then and was so big that Gerhard could crawl into it. Due to lack of time, Gerhard did not examine them more closely at the time. He had not come to this place since then. We wanted to catch up on that and take a closer look at it. Alois Krendl from Lower Austria accompanied us on this day. I had promised him that I would take him to the Weisseck once and that day was just right, because Alois had just two days off. We started our tour very early. After a leisurely climb of one and a half hours, we had very steep alpine terrain in front of us. With the next 100 meters of altitude we couldn't afford to go wrong. Fortunately, Alois was also very sure-footed. Then the situation eased. However, we still had another 300 very steep and strenuous vertical meters to get to the area where Gerhard suspected the gap. After a few breaks we had finally reached the desired height.
Alois and Gerhard in the discovery area
In this area we were completely unexpectedly aware of smaller horizontal fluorite veins between smaller rock faces. In small cavities we could also discover small crystals, which, however, were badly affected by frost and the influence of weather. We started working the ground with our tools by removing debris and starting to chisel. I worked about a meter above Gerhard. After a short time I didn't like this place anymore and searched the area for new signs. I didn't get far, because already 3 meters below Gerhard I started working again because a fluorite vein caught my eye here. The rubble was quickly removed. Now I pried on the floor near the fluorite vein.
Gerhard and I looking for fluorites
After a couple of blows, my chisel fell into a cavity. Caution was called for now. I moved my chisel by 30 cm, but immediately fell into a new cavity. Meanwhile Alois was with me and helped to remove the area from the rubble. We were able to discover more fluorite veins in several places and when chiseling the chisel fell a few more times into a cavity. These were flat, lying cavities that opened and closed again and again. In the meantime we had already recovered a few fluorites that which shows intense square texture on the faces and reached an edge length of up to 3 cm. We were happy about the findings and continued to work diligently.
Gerhard was also able to find some beautiful fluorites 3 meters above us. They weren't that big, but the quality was much better. After a while, Gerhard's place no longer supplied any more fluorites. For this reason he came down to us and helped us to work on the ever-growing finding site. Together we tried to get deeper by chiseling on one side in the rock in order to be able to better recover the fluorites of the lying fluorite cavities. During the exhausting work, we regularly took turns in order to be able to maintain a certain pace of work. In between, the site had to be enlarged again and again by clearing rubble. An additional very strenuous job - especially if you've already worked a few hours. But the discoveries that we were able to make in between gave us additional strength and motivation. This was the right approach, because we really managed to expose the sensitive fluorite as large as possible and to recover it in larger pieces.
Gerhard doing the strenuous chiselling work
The reward for hard work: Full of joy, Alois holds a large, freshly recovered fluorite specimen in his hand
We didn't even notice how quickly the time passed and worked until late in the afternoon. When we checked the clock what time it was, we finished the work and divided up our finds. After everyone had packed the finds well, we were able to start the steep descent with well-filled rucksacks. On the particularly steep section, we gave ourselves enough time to come down safely here as well. When we got to the car it was already dark and late. But we didn't care, because this day was full of beautiful impressions and experiences.
Gerhard and I after a successful day full of wonderful experiences and memories
The fluorites from this site show two striking differences compared to other fluorites from the Weisseck: These fluorites only have an intense purple zoning on the outermost layer of about 3 millimeters which gives the fluorites the color. The rest and the centre of the fluorite are completely colorless. And that is completely unusual for Fluorite vom Weisseck. Usually the fluorites from the Weisseck glow bright violet under UV light. These fluorites show several colors under UV light: The outer violet layer shows the usual violet color and the colorless area of the fluorites (as far as the main part of the fluorites is concerned) shows colors from intense red-orange to pink and in between there are color areas that are lilac. This change of the different colors looks very good and seduces to play with the lamp to see the color change. The partly cuboid crystal surfaces show an intensive square texture. The surfaces have a beautiful silk gloss. Some fluorites are strongly dissolved by the influence of water and have deep etching cracks. Snow-white calcite has deposited on the fluorite in the shape of a hood or has grown in small crystals. In many pieces, tectonic fractures were completely filled with calcite or detached fluorite and fluorite pieces were completely embedded in calcite. The calcites show a light beige color in UV light. Small clear quartz crystals up to 2 millimeters could be discovered on the gray slate matrix.