Travel Update Summer 2020: Most destinations, sites and parks reopened with limitations. Check the official websites and read our crucial ‘BEST TIME TO GO' and ‘AVOIDING THE CROWDS’ tips:
Check the weather forecast the day before because good weather conditions without snow, ice, and rain are essential. Otherwise, it’ll be slippery when climbing; so, safety first! Best months for hiking in combination with climbing are March until October. If it was rainy the day don’t start too early. The sandstone has to dry otherwise it can break while climbing. This climbing trail is not well known. It’s almost guaranteed to climb up alone.
This is the most difficult "Stiege" in the Elbe Sandstone Range. It is only for experienced hikers and climbers. If you can't manage the beginning; the first part of climbing, you should return it’s more difficult at the end. The chimney is the most difficult part. It’s a short climbing of half an hour but difficult. You also need to be free from giddiness.
Park your car in Schmilka. You can park for free after the Café Richter (btw delicious cake) direction Czech Republic border. Parking is limited and fills up quickly during weekends; arrive here before midday. Several hikes start in Schmilka and you get the best food and beer here as well. Marked the trailhead at google. On the left is an organic bakery offering bread and cake and on the right is a beer garden. We ate here four times and never got disappointed. They offer excellent quality.
Finding the Rübezahlstiege is tricky. Follow the signs with the capital letter: R. The “Stiege” starts in the climber’s area. It’s a short but challenging one with very few iron bails. Proper foot wear with a firm sole is helpful for this adventure. After roughly half an hour you have to climb into a dark and narrow chimney. It was too narrow to carry a backpack. The way out is to the left although it looks like it goes to the right. When reaching the top continue hiking to one of the many other trails. We had to leave and travel back home therefore we hiked back on "Heilige Stiege"; a steep descent with iron ladders and staircases more than 700 steps.