Copyright 2009 - 2017 by Mario Vaden
Helios coast redwood was discovered July 1, 2006, a little past 6pm, by Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor in Redwood National Park. Previous, Stratosphere Giant was the tallest known. Helios became the tallest for a until Hyperion was discovered by the same two men later that year in another valley on August 25, 2006. Also July 1, less than an hour after discovering Helios, they found Icarus which was 371' tall. That was 2 world records in one hour. The area of Helios Grove was nicknamed Dry Heaves Creek, mentioned in the book by Preston.
The only people I've been here with are Chris Atkins and Thomas from Germany, introduced on New Hope
For the present, I'm not posting a full lower trunk view because that part remained unpublished. But this winter 2017 digging through old folders, I found an image from years ago on a day we went back to Helios grove that doesn't provide compromising detail of the area.
That image is at the very end of the page.
Rhododendrons are all over the place, and those are the stems you see obscuring the big trunk. The only glimpse I used to offer for Helios was a small area of bark with a little fire scar. I thought it was interesting, shaped like a Megaladon or Great White Shark tooth. Like many other coast redwoods, Helios offers textures and shapes for the imagination.
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 2009 measurements mean Helios was only about 4 feet shorter than Hyperion. By 2012, the gap closed even more.
If it happened to surpass the tallest, its doubtful the change would ever be announced. Dr. Sillett quit releasing names with data, and because the ten tallest changed heights nobody outside the researchers and a handful of explorers really know whether or not these redwoods are still in the top ten. Any claims outside those few are speculation. But it's a fact that Helios was the world's 2nd tallest known in 2006.
Update: a February 2017 photo that offers a small clue.