75 Years: Celebrating the Hiyu Coulees

Posted by Caitlin Joyce on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 6:39 PM PDT

“Taking it one step at a time since 1939”


It all began on a February day in 1939 when Fr. Frank Logan took a group of Seattle University students to West Seattle for a hike down Beach Drive.  Little did Fr. Logan know that he was starting a tradition that would last for decades. 

The members of that original hike would go on to form the Hiyu Coulee Hiking Club. Their name, derived from Chinook jargon, meant “much walking.” The club prided itself on promoting opportunities for hiking in the Pacific Northwest, from weekend treks during the school year to 14-day trips during the summer months. This October, the club celebrates its 75th Anniversary Reunion.

Over the years, the club’s popularity grew, attracting more than students. Alumni and Seattle community members joined the group, becoming some of its most dedicated members. 

Dave Albright, a 1959 graduate of Seattle University, didn’t become involved with the club until the summer of 1960.  That year when he was home from grad school for the summer, he was invited by a girl he was dating at the time to go on a hike to Eunice Lake.” After that hike, Dave went on more hikes and eventually became an active participant in club day hikes and overnights. 

 “I met my wife at a Hiyu Coulee party,” Dave shared. “She was a roommate of one of the hosts and showed up at the party after ending her shift at nearby Cabrini hospital. She was a nurse.” The two were inducted into the club at their wedding reception, finally becoming official members of the club.  

Rose Morris is another who met her future spouse through the club. Though not a Seattle University student, a friend from high school, Kathy Sifferman, ’63, ’76, invited Rose to join the group and introduced her to Tom. The two would later get married.   

“The first trip I remember was an overnight President’s weekend at Rocky Run at Snoqualmie Pass. It rained all weekend – all weekend! We pitched tents on the snow and built a fire which proceeded to sink in the snow and disappear. Instead of being a disaster, the weekend was hilarious. I was hooked,” Rose said. 

Noel Gilbrough, ’74, got an early start in the club, when Bill Rowe,’65, invited him on a summer overnight as a junior at Blanchet High School. By the time he was a freshman at Seattle University, Noel knew everyone. 

“My favorite memory of the club is the summer overnights. We would sit down around the fire and sing until about midnight. We would sing everything from folk to religious music to show tunes.” 

Former club president, Bill Rowe,’65, first joined the club for a hike to Rocky Run for an overnight one winter. After that one hike, Bill could not get enough and chose to become an official member of the club. 

A club trip to Salmon-La-Sac in four feet of snow stands out in his mind as a memorable trip. “We had to hike a half a mile in snow-shoes to a picnic kitchen (a small partially walled structure with a fireplace). Bill and his friends had to enclose the shelter in plastic sheeting and thaw out the frozen fireplace, the only source of heat. 

“I knew that if I could make it through the Rocky Run and Salmon-La-Sac hikes, I could survive anything.” Bill said. 

As the club celebrates its 75th Anniversary, Noel, Rose, Dave and Bill have helped plan the reunion celebration.

They encourage all former members to return to Seattle University on October 25th and celebrate. 

“I’m looking forward to seeing old friends, telling stories and talking about our old friends who are still around and those who aren’t,” Noel said.  

Rose shared that “the reunions have been times to celebrate our friendships, friendships that are lifelong. It is a true treasure.”

Dave is looking forward to getting everyone back together. “There are people coming from as far away as Alaska and San Diego, and I’ll be coming from St. Louis. Everyone is starting to get older and this is a great opportunity to see everyone together while we still can.”


If you are a former Hiyu Coulee member, you can register to attend your reunion online.

For questions contact Harmony Frederick at frederih@seattleu.edu or (206) 296-5664.