The Dolomites aren’t particularly high mountains. The Marmolada, so-called Queen of the Dolomites, reaches 3,343 metres above sea level. Nowadays, what’s left of the glacier on the northern side allows for an easy climb to the summit. However, once on the summit ridge, climbers suddenly realise that the sunny, south-facing side plummets down 900 vertical metres. As much as Yosemite Valley’s El Capitan, more or less.
The Marmolada is neither the only nor the highest big wall in the Dolomites. The longest climbing route in terms of vertical ascent is probably the lesser known Agner’s north edge, with its 1600 metres of ascent. The huge rampart on the north-west face of Mount Civetta sports 1200 metres of ascent.
Besides these notorious faces, there are many many others involving ascents between 500 and 1000 metres. Regardless of the specific route, climbing these monsters is something for the truly motivated climbers.