Via Ferrata Combination - Elbe Sandstone Mountains
This combination of hiking and climbing of two via ferrata will guarantee you an awesome day in the Elbe Sandstone Range. Check the weather forecast the day before because the right weather conditions without snow, ice, and rain are essential. Otherwise, it’ll be slippery when climbing; so safety first! We experienced a thunderstorm and hail in June. Best months for hiking in combination with climbing are March until October. It’s busier on the trails and climbing routes during summer. Spring and fall are less crowded with pleasant temps. The Kirnitzschtal / Kirnitzsch Valley is pretty popular; busier on weekends and during bank holidays. Limited parking, therefore, arrive early. A parking fee of roughly 4 € (ticket machine) is requested.
This via ferrata is a combination of two different "Stiegen". They were created in the past to overcome the steep mountains. Some are similar to a via ferrata, with iron ladders as well but IMHO too many iron bails are used. Some parts are secured, and climbing gear can be used. However, it was great fun to climb these “Stiegen” up. Have a look to the “Rübezahlstiege” a more challenging via ferrata where climbing experiences are essential.
Park your car at Lichtenhainer Waterfall and walk back to Beuthenfall.to the trailhead. Another option is the famous Kirnitzsch Valley tram which starts in Bad Schandau. Both waterfalls are manmade. The Stiegen are not well marked but easy to find. There are only a view signs who are leading to the beginning of the climbing. We combined the first part of the Zwillingsstiege with the upper part and the chimney of the Häntschelstiege. There are different routes to choose from, but definitely, it’s an outstanding experience. On the top, we hiked to "Langes Horn" and "Carolafelsen" a huge rock. Walk direction "Schrammsteine" which is one of the most impressive rock formations here. We hiked back to the car park along "Kleiner Dom" and "Kleines Prebischtor", but there are many trails available to get around. The route we’d chosen was roughly 10 km long and took us 4 hours including a picnic and several photo stops. If you like to do this combination of a via ferrata and hiking, you need to be experienced and free from giddiness.