Outside Magazine: How the World’s Most Difficult Bouldering Problems Get Made
Zolotukhin, who is known as M.Z. to climbers at Planet Granite in San Francisco—his home gym—was the rookie here, and naturally he had the flashiest plans.

“I do a lot of my thinking on planes and other places where I don’t have Internet access,” he told me as a gondola hummed up the grassy ski slope next to the stage. He showed me an iPhone spreadsheet in which he had broken down each of the eight wall bays he might get assigned and described which problems he might set, using jargon-laced shorthand.

“Inside flag dual tex half moons; volume under angle change bay 1,” he wrote beneath one entry, referring to a sequence that would force climbers to counterbalance themselves using the foot closest to the wall.