Sport: The Human Flies

Dark and forbidding, the rocky pinnacle rises 9,750 ft. out of the Italian Dolomites, and the last 1,800 ft. of its north wall is as sheer and smooth as a Manhattan skyscraper. An Italian team first scaled Cima Grande di Lavaredo's north wall in 1933. and the rock is stitched with hundreds of pitons, or spikes, left behind by alpinists following the winding "staircase" trail to the summit. But not until this month did anyone tackle Cima Grande's north wall by the "elevator route"—straight up. Even in summer, that route was so perilous that it carried a No. 6 rating, highest...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!