Copyright 2009 - 2011 by Mario Vaden
Helios coast redwood was discovered July 1, 2006, a little past 6pm in the evening by Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor in Redwood National Park. Previous to this find, Stratosphere Giant was the tallest known in the world. Helios became the tallest tree for a while until Hyperion was discovered by the same two men later that year in another valley on August 25, 2006. Also on July 1, less than an hour after discovering Helios, Atkins and Taylor found Icarus, another coast redwood, which was 371' tall. That was 2 redwoods in just one hour, each taller than the previous height champion. The area of Helios Grove which has remained a secret for quite some time was nicknamed Dry Heaves Creek, mentioned in a book (by R. Preston). It's the same valley (drainage) where those men found the redwood Maia (or Maya), 354' tall, the end of 2005. Helios is up on a hill, not next to a creek. Much of the area is difficult to navigate in. The last time we went to Helios approaching on the nearby bear trail, it still took at least 30 minutes to reach it after crossing through logs in the creek, and aiming for a bee-line past logs on the hillside. The bear trail did not continue past the creek. Once we cleared the water, it was shwank-ville. "Shwank" is Atkin's nickname for accumulation of fallen debris or tangled populations of salal.
The forest photo below shows a big clearing and pair of 15 footers close by, which we passed on our way to Helios that day.
For the present, I'm not posting a full trunk view, because its been unpublished more or less. Also, there is something outstandingly weird about it, that may best remain a secret. For now, here is part of the trunk, about 120' high. You can see the pitting from forest fire. Must have been a substantial fire to make flame up to that point. There is a close-up shown on the Hyperion page, and may be the only bone to throw for a clue at this time.
For reference, in 2009, measurement for Helios was 375.9' or 114.58 m high, and 16.0' or 4.96 m diameter. The 2006 measurements, and these 2009 measurements, mean Helios was only about 4 feet shorter than Hyperion. By 2012, the gap closed even more. Sword fern is a dominant forest floor cover around Helios.
For a remnant of seekers, the close proximity to Maia may seem perplexing, because it introduces a question whether Helios and Hyperion are in the same drainage, and what really lies beneath the location shell-game. It all depends on whether they read Preston's book, and how far back they've been able to tap-into the clue food-chain ( emails between pre-2010 seekers).