In 1970, climbers bouldering University of Washington buildings had become a rising problem on campus, according to “Husky Rock: A Bouldering Guide to the U.W. Climbing Walls” by Scotty Hopkins and Erik Wolfe.

When the situation became worse, the university didn’t focus on stopping the bouldering attempts, but according to Hopkins and Wolfe, the university instead discussed building an artificial climbing wall.

After separate mountain climbing accidents tragically claimed the lives of two students and a faculty member in 1973, students urged the approval of the project so climbers could train properly and learn about safety, according to a Seattle Daily Times article. Plans for construction of the strenuous climbing rock was approved and went on to be designed and built from 1975-76 by architects Anderson and Bell. Today, Husky Climbing Rock is recognized as one of the first outdoor bouldering areas in the country, according to the authors.