Huber Climbs Dolomites Mega-Roof

By Dougald MacDonald ,

Panaroma is protected by pitons and bolts, but it’s no clip-up. Only seven new bolts were placed to protect a 60-meter 5.14a pitch. Photo by Michael Meisl (

Alexander Huber has redpointed an enormous 5.14 overhang, once called the “biggest roof on earth,” starting five pitches up the 1,500-foot north face of Cima Ovest in the Dolomites’ famous Tre Cime. The 40-meter roof was aid-climbed in 1968, and in June of this year Huber and Martin Kopfsguter figured out a potential free route through the bulge. After five shared pitches with the route Bellavista, which Huber climbed in the winter of 1999 and then free-climbed at 5.14b in 2001, the new line busts right across the center of the big roof for two mostly horizontal pitches.

Huber spent the next month working on the redpoint, and on July 26, climbing with Max Reichel and Franz Hinterbrandner, he linked all the pitches, bivying after the roof before carrying on to the summit.

The new line, Panaroma (5.14b), is a unique and wild adventure. After five pitches of 5.10 to 5.12, all protected by fixed pitons, the big roof is crossed via a 60-meter 5.14a pitch, with only seven bolts added for protection. This is followed by a shorter but even harder 20-meter 5.14b, with another four new bolts. Two more 5.11 pitches gain the 1935 Cassin Route, leading up about 10 pitches of easier ground to the top.

Panaroma starts on the first 12 meters of Bellavista, which Huber free-climbed in 2001, then zigs back right onto new ground. Photo by Michael Meisl (

Bellavista to Panaroma: The view from below. Photo by Michael Meisl (

Join the Conversation