Western CONUS Completion Messages and Photograph Collage *1

*1 by Adam Helman


This compendium of congratulatory messages with pictures speaks for itself.
I have attempted to match photographs with the corresponding message authors,
hoping they too will recall in vivid detail our shared efforts.

There is a paucity of photographs from the desert southwest yet an overabundance
from the northern tier of states and particularly Montana and Washington.
Two factors explain this observation - MOUSE-CLICK on the photographs for larger, more detailed versions.

August 17

County Highpoints daily newsletter #4249 entry 5 -

Subject: Adam Helman list completions
Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:17 pm (PDT). Posted by: Bob Bolton

On Friday 8/17/2012 Adam Helman and I summitted Mt. Adams, the highpoint of Yakima County, WA. This climb completed two lists for Adam - all 414 county highpoints of the 11 western states (lower 48), and the lower 48 list of 57 Ultra-prominence peaks. Adam will provide the trip report after he arrives home.



Adam atop Adams
Double list finish atop Mount Adams
as photographed by Bob Bolton. (2012)

August 18

County Highpoints daily newsletter #4249 entry 6 -

Subject: Congrats, Adam!!
Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:39 am (PDT). Posted by: "fplobdell"

Heartiest congratulations to our Webmaster, Adam Helman, on his completion of the county HPs of Washington. Adam finished the Evergreen State yesterday, Aug. 17, on Mt. Adams in Yakima County. He is the 11th person to complete Washington and the first to do so in Yakima County. Washington has now been completed in 10 of its 39 counties. It should be noted that, in terms of technical climbing, Washington is probably the second most difficult state to complete.

An even more remarkable accomplishment is that Adam has now completed all the county HPs of the entire western region of the lower 48 states. He is just the second person to do this, after Bob Packard.

Fred Lobdell

Ice Lake
Ice Lake near Sacajawea Peak
of Wallowa County, Oregon. (2004)


County Highpoints daily newsletter #4250 entry 1a -

Subject: Adam Helman list completions
Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:36 am (PDT) . Posted by: Don Nelsen

Adam, wonderful accomplishment on all counts - a very impressing combination of lists!
Looking forward to your trip report(s).


Snow Dome
Mount Olympus in Washington.
Richard Carey leads, followed by Adam
and then Don Nelsen. (2009)


County Highpoints daily newsletter #4250 entry 1b -

Subject: Adam Helman list completions
Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:51 am (PDT). Posted by: Ed Wandall

Great job Adam and Bob! I was sending you good vibes from Hood. Seemed like Adams was close enough to touch. Good move going a day early, too. Looks like the weather is here.

Ed Wandall

alpine vista
View from saddle near Monument
Peak of Adams County, Idaho. (2012)


County Highpoints daily newsletter #4250 entry 1c -

Subject: Adam Helman list completions
Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:12 am (PDT). Posted by: Scott Surgent

Congratulations, Adam, job well done.


Borah summit
Atop Idaho's highpoint Borah Peak
with Scott Surgent at viewer's left.
Barney Metz completed our group. (2003)


County Highpoints daily newsletter #4250 entry 1d -

Subject: Adam Helman list completions
Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:14 pm (PDT). Posted by: Coby King

An incredible and impressive accomplishment. Congrats to Adam!


Hagues Peak
Adam at Hagues Peak with rim ice
in Larimer County, Colorado as
photographed by Tim Worth. (2006)


County Highpoints daily newsletter #4250 entry 1e -

Subject: Adam Helman list completions
Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:13 pm (PDT). Posted by: Tracy Foutz

Good Job, Adam! I am looking forward to your trip report.


Ibapah Peak
Utah state finish atop Juab
County's Ibapah Peak - with caviar.
Dean Molen and Bob Bolton
were in attendance. (2004)


County Highpoints daily newsletter #4250 entry 1f -

Subject: Adam Helman list completions
Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:25 pm (PDT). Posted by: "Xander" Carlson

Congrats man. I hope you enjoyed every moment of that summit.
Now you gotta top it by completing the Alaska census points :D

Lassen Peak
California completion atop Lassen Peak
on July 9, 2002.


County Highpoints daily newsletter #4250 entry 2a -

Subject: Congrats, Adam!!
Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:54 am (PDT). Posted by: Robert W Packard

It has been drawn to my attention that Adam Helman has recently completed the hp's of all 11 western lower 48 US states. This means that I can no longer claim to be the only one to do that. Thanks a LOT, Adam. And I thought we were friends.

Seriously, CONGRATULATIONS, Adam. Well done. We are now a fraternity of two.

I was 68 when I completed on Stimson in 2004. It's taken 8 years for someone to join me.

And you are well ahead of me age wise, too.

Bob Packard

Stimson vista
View downslope from Mount Stimson's
summit in Flathead County, Montana.

The 2008 team included Greg Slayden,
Bob Bolton, Duane Gilliland, Edward Earl
and Adam Helman.


County Highpoints daily newsletter #4250 entry 3a -

Subject: Congratulations to Adam Helman
Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:40 pm (PDT). Posted by: "spookymike@aol.com"

Heartiest congratulations to Adam on completing the western 414 and the lower 48 (57) ultras.

Those are BIG time accomplishments requiring dedication, skill, courage, planning, and luck, to name a few prerequisites.

Looking forward to watching your future adventures.

Mike Schwartz

mountain goat
Mountain goat at Sahale Glacier
Camp on Buckner Mountain. (2012)


County Highpoints daily newsletter #4250 entry 3b -

Subject: Congratulations to Adam Helman
Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:21 pm (PDT). Posted by: Craig Willis

I echo that sentiment.

Adam definitely deserves many congratulations and high-fives for his major county highpointing accomplishment.

If I had known Adam years ago and realized how much he disliked snow back then, I never would have imagined him accomplishing such a major feat in the western United States. He has shown us all a vast amount of skill, determination, and intestinal fortitude with this effort, and that should be commended.

I wish I could have been a part of many county highpointing trips with him, but I will always savor the only two we did together (both were Apex CoHPs).
Great job, Adam!

Best Regards,


steep rock
Big Horn in Washington with
steep rock on the final ridge.
Adam is above, Craig just below. (2011)

August 19

private message by Ethan Paquin -

Subject: your finishes


CONGRATS!! You are the man. I'm in awe of your climbing accomplishments. Cheers.


giant trees
Ken Russell provides scale amidst
the Hoh rain forest enroute to
Mount Olympus. Participants included
Dave Covill, Richard Carey, Don Nelsen
and Adam Helman. (2009)


County Highpoints daily newsletter #4251 entry 1a -

Subject: Adam Helman list completions
Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:09 am (PDT). Posted by: Greg Slayden

One more person chiming in with congratulations. . .


Having accompanied Adam up Glacier Peak WA, Mt. Jefferson OR, Bonanza Peak WA, Mt. Stimson MT, and Big Horn WA, I can fully attest to his determination, drive, mountain savvy, scrambling skills, and willingness to face obstacles. The number, variety, and difficultly of these 400-odd peaks are very hard for most hikers and climbers to fully comprehend.

Who will be next to complete the western 414 CoHPs? I would put my money on Dennis Poulin or Edward Earl, with almost equal probability at this point.

Bonanza summit
Greg Slayden (left), Dennis Poulin (right)
and myself atop Bonanza Peak
in challenging Washington state. (2009)


County Highpoints daily newsletter #4251 entry 2a -

Subject: Adam on Adams
Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:25 am (PDT). Posted by: "J W"

Wow...what an accomplishment. One I can only hope to follow in the coming 100 years.

Congratulations Adam. To finish the Marathon 11...my my. I hope to some day sit down and break bread and share spirits with you as you recount the stories of this adventure.

Again...my hat is off to you. Jim Retemeyer

snow climb
Ascending Mount Jefferson in Oregon.
Greg Slayden leads, followed by Adam,
Richard Carey and Duane Gilliland. (2006)


County Highpoints daily newsletter #4251 entry 3 -

(no subject)
Sun Aug 19, 2012 1:58 pm (PDT). Posted by: Charles Zerphey

Congratulations Adam, Keep Klimbing. Charlie Z.

Descending the Mount Jefferson
summit pinnacle - Adam is above;
Duane Gilliland is below him. (2006)


County Highpoints daily newsletter #4251 entry 4 -

Subject: Video of Adam reaching the summit of Adams
Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:17 pm (PDT). Posted by: Bob Bolton

I took a short video of Adam completing the two lists. Here's the link, if you're interested.
Don't mind my enthusiasm - it was probably the altitude! ;-)

grand scenery
Adam set against the immense grandeur
at Montana's Mount Cleveland. (2010)


County Highpoints daily newsletter #4251 entry 6a -

Subject: Congrats!
Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:57 pm (PDT). Posted by: John Roper

Up and Adam. Great job "Going Green!"

John Roper

glacier travel
Adams gathers rope for Dennis Poulin
Bonanza Peak's Mary Green Glacier
(Chelan County, WA). Grant Myers
was the fourth climber. (2009)

August 20

private message by Lanny Wexler -

Subject: Awesome Adam



Congrats on finishing all lower 48 western COHPs. That is a huge accomplishment that you must be very proud of. Now it's on to Denali.

I'll have some news of my own. I'm on the home stretch of the Vermont's Long Trail. I plan to finish by Sunday Aug 26 which will be a year to the day I climbed Whitney.

Weather couldn't be better. Sunshine is forecast all week with temps in the upper 70s.



private message by John Stolk -

Subject: Your completion

Congrats Adam!

Cloud Peak tarns
Glacial tarns at Wyoming's Cloud Peak -
climbed with John Stolk in 2007.


County Highpoints daily newsletter #4252 entry 2a -

Subject: Adam Helman list completions
Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:39 pm (PDT). Posted by: David Olson

Congratulations to Adam,

(Self-goals to aspire to. ...)
We rely on Adam to share with us what new goals he has set for himself after completing this big goal.
In the meantime, while we wait, we can try speculating, , ,
Adam has been to Hawaii and tried all five counties [comment: not true]. He has gotten two of them, both easy. -- I bet he tries for the other three again.
Adam has tried Denali/Mt. McKinley three times [again false]. I believe he still intends to get it.
Adam has expressed a wish to ascend the highest point(s) of the Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area.

I would venture that he is intent on completing the Maine county highpoints. He has 5 to go.
Will he join Spooky Mike Schwartz to go after New Brunswick county highpoints? ?

Adam is missing two Rocky Mountain county highpoints, both in Texas, Reeves and Pecos counties.
Adam is missing four county highpoints in the Black Hills. He has three already, the SD statehighpoint and two WY county highpoints.

Adam is missing three or four "mountainous" state highpoints in the south center.

Adam probably has prominence peaks on his mind. But that's a different yahoogroup.

Any other speculation?

Organ Needle
Recommended route on Organ Needle
of Doña Ana County, New Mexico.
Richard Carey joined Adam there in 2003.


County Highpoints daily newsletter #4252 entry 4a -

Subject: Trip Report: Shenandoah, Amherst, & Nelson Counties, VA: 17-18 Aug 2
Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:49 pm (PDT). Posted by: James Barlow

First and foremost, congratulations to Adam Helman and his significant accomplishment on Mt Adams. All the ultras and western states CoHPs. Adam on Adams - way to go man! I hope to join this exclusive crowd some day...

[This message continues with the cited subject matter. - AH]

sharp horns
Mount Cleveland summit view
with past glaciation evident. (2010)

August 21

private message by John Klein -

Subject: double list finish at Mount Adams

Congrats Adam! I tried calling you back the other day but I had no luck.
Now your next big challenge will be Denali. I hope you get that peak!


Mount Stuart
John Klein and Adam Helman climbed
Mount Stuart via the Cascadian Couloir
in 2012 - an ultra prominence
of Washington's North Cascades.


private message by Nick Scouras -

(no subject)

hello adam,

congrats on your list completion! being most probably the least concerned with prominence of any member of the e-group as well as a person unlikely to ever finish a hiking list, doesn't in the least detract to my understanding of the enormity of the undertaking.

i particularly liked the final paragraph of your e-mail. years ago i declared myself the poster child for anybody being able to climb a mountain. a little resolve and a lot of desire can get one up a whole lot of mountains.

        best in your continuing adventures,
                nick scouras

alpine basin
Alpine basin under Lavender Peak -
a contender for the Montezuma County
highpoint in southwest Colorado. (2005)


private message by Bill Jacobs -

Subject: COHP FAs

Hello Adam,

Congratulations again on your amazing double list finish.

Recent FAs:

East Baton Rouge, LA, 7/1/2012, Xander Carlson.
LeFlore & Tallahatchie, MS, 8/7/2012, Tom Owen


rock scramble
The final section of a Lavender Peak climb.
John Hamann partnered there with Adam
in summer 2008. (Mouse-click for detail.)


private message by Jim Perkins -

Subject: double list finish at Mount Adams


Congratulations on such an historic accomplishment. 8-)
You have been a noble example and ambassador for this hobby A true trailblazer!
Best wishes in all your future endeavors,


Jim Perkins photographs Adam atop
Crazy Peak, Montana's most
prominent mountain, an ultra,
yet not a county highpoint. (2008)


private message by Petter Bjørstad -

Subject: Your climb of Mount Adams!

Dear Adam!

My warmest congratulations on your recent (double) completion!
I do know and appreciate what effort this represents.

When did you climb Mount Powell? (and by what route?)

best regards,


Wyoming top
Adam holds the State Highpointer's logo
atop Wyoming's Gannett Peak.

Participants include Sjaak van Schie who
finished the 48 state (CONUS) highpoints
on this day in late July 2004 - the first
non-USA resident to do such.


private message by John Hamann -

Subject: Western County HP Completion


Congratulations on your momentous achievement. I suspect you and Dr. Packard will be the only two people to ever complete the western county highpoints. I dont see anyone else ever doing it. The young people today are too focused on their electronic gizmos to ever venture out into the wilderness.

The question now is, what do you do for an encore? I suspect your third and final attempt on McKinley will happen next June. After two failures, your odds dont seem very good, but I suspect you will make a herculean effort. Dave succeeded on his third attempt, but he got close on his previous attempts, something which you have not done. Perhaps Mount Logan might warrant an attempt, but Im sure youre well aware of EEs recent failure.

Perhaps you will follow in the footsteps of Dr. Packard when he galloped around the world in pursuit of the Worlds Finest Fifty several years ago. However, I suspect that would severely strain your meager finances, and may very well prove impossible. You could continue with prominences, perhaps completing all P2Ks in certain states, which might be feasible. On the other hand, Mount Blanc, Elbrus, Ojos, Chimbarazo, Sajama, and others await. A Chinese 7K meter peak might be in your future. Mount Cook in NZ and Mount Robson in BC also loom as worthy objectives. Many possibilities await, but with limited resources, you may be constrained to smaller goals.

Perhaps you should even consider taking a year off and sitting on the beach as you bask in the glory of your cohp completions. Im sure many people will be interested in hearing your story.


snowy ridge
McDonald Peak's summit ridge
with steep dropoffs and Tim Worth.
Johh Hamann arrived shortly after.

Other particpants include John Stolk,
Grant Myers, Charlie Winger, Edward Earl
and Adam Helman. (2008)


private message by Steve Brown -

Subject: Adam Helman future plans


Congratulations we may get to do some more climbing together,
as I have an interest in some of the peaks you may climb.

I also have an interest in many of the peaks youve already climbed.

I plan to finish my list of White Mountain (NH) 4,000ers next month; then Ill start working on the Adirondacks.

I need many of the Colorado 14ers, and Im interested in Mount Blanc, Aconcagua, and Elbrus.

Ecuador would also make a great location; and those Canadian highpoints too.

Ill be doing the full-time student routine for a couple of years,
but Ill have good availability in January, and Jun-Aug.

Good luck,

Steve Brown

Buckner route
Buckner Mountain (Skagit County, WA)
was revisited in August 2012 by
Duane Gilliland, Craig Willis and
Bob Bolton to participate in and
expedite Adam's imminent Washington
state completion.

Our route is shown in red (rock)
and blue (snow). Dots indicate where
the route is hidden from view.
Mouse-click for sharper detail. (2012)


private message by Dave Covill -

Subject: Dave's maps

[This first section deals with Dave's Denali summit photograph and conditions. - AH]

short answer is that I am waiting for better fotos to come from teammates. I DO have a foto of me somewhere w/o banner. I took the EOG banner foto so I can be in the company quarterly e-mag. I did so at Kili also.

it was VERY warm, I really didn't need the down jacket. +10d, zero wind, clear skies mostly. Crazy....it got cooler as we stayed there longer, other fotos show me more bundled up later, this was during the first 10 minutes up there. plus, we lost heat cooling off after an 8 hour climb to it.

A huge congrats to you, recall I rank in the top 10 or so in western cohps, so I understand where you are coming from.

Also recall its not my style to publicly blather and gush on YAHOO every time someone achieves something, hence why you didn't see my name and post. So, don't take that personally, just staying true to what I do....

thank you for posting the maps for me.

did you see my Denali and my Katmai write-ups?



Montana HP
A large team summited Granite Peak,
the Montana state highpoint, in 2002.
Dave Covill is right next to the
U.S.A. flag's 50 stars, light green shirt.

Participants include Dave's wife Beckie,
Scott Surgent, Mike Coltrin, Jennifer Roach,
Edward Earl, Chuck Bickes, Adam Helman
and Kevin Williamson - plus 3 strangers!


County Highpoints daily newsletter #4253 entry 6a -

Subject: Completing the 11 western state's COHPs + the CONUS ultras
Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:49 pm (PDT). Posted by: Robert W. Packard

Hi Adam,


Damn right you should be proud of it. I am and I know what it feels like.

In my career the only thing that compares was finishing the full length of the Grand Canyon (from Lees Ferry to Pearce Ferry) below the rim on BOTH sides of the river. Only 2 people have done that. I was the 2nd. The 1st was a German citizen, probably in the US illegally, who committed suicide in his late 20's shortly after finishing. He put a tube from the exhaust of his car into a window and went to sleep. So, sadly, I'm the only one ALIVE to claim both sides.


summit register
Bob Packard's entry in the Mount Stimson
summit register upon his August 2004
completion of the western CONUS cohp list.
Mouse-click for detail. (2008)

August 22

private message by Fred Johnson -

Subject: Well Done


Let me be among the many to congratulate you on your excellent accomplishment of reaching the CoHps of the 11 Western states and the 57 Ultras of the 48 states. It's the culmination of a signal phase in your peakbagging career, which will resume soon, as you have noted in "future plans".

I look forward to many more of your illustrated trip reports as your continue your peakbagging journey. I hope, as I am sure others do, that at some future date you will write an autobiography of your adventures. There's so much to tell.

Again, well done. Onward and upward!


Lake Tahoe
The "new" Placer County, California
highpoint may be this rock outcrop
overlooking Lake Tahoe. (2009)


private message by Rick Hartman -

(no subject)


I have heard of your completion of the Western State COHPs!!!!!

Outstanding and a great accomplishment!



Rick Hartman

August 26

private message by Adam Walker -

Subject: Most Sincere Congratulations

This is a historic achievement. I'm very impressed by your accomplishment.
You are an inspiration to peakbaggers and highpointers alike.

        - Adam

crux crack
The Class 5.4-rated crack on
Big Horn. Adam Walker climbed
it in 2011 with Greg Slayden,
Craig Willis and Adam Helman.

August 27

private message by Charlie Winger -

Subject: peaks

And I add my CONGRATULATIONS for an outstanding achievement. Well done.


The final pitch on Wyoming's
Washakie Needles is nearly level.
Charlie Winger, George Vandersluis,
Tim Worth and Adam Helman
climbed it together in 2007.


County Highpoints daily newsletter #4259 entry 4 -

Subject: multiple completion congratulations
Sun Aug 27, 2012 7:19 pm (PDT). Posted by: Edward "7.389056099" Earl

congratulations to Adam Helman for completing the cohps of ID


congratulations to Petter Bjørstad for completing the CONUS ultras


Congratulations to Adam Helman and Greg Schmidt for completing the cohps of WA


Congratulations to Grant Myers for completing the CONUS 100 Finest

...AND... (drum roll, please)


a quasi-unprecedented achievement.

Edward "7.389056099" Earl

Edward Earl climbed Montana's Snowshoe
Peak from the east on the same day
that John Hamann, John Stolk and Adam
came from the west. (2008)

August 30

private message by Andy Martin -

Subject: double list finish at Mount Adams

Hi Adam - Congratulations & Congratulations !

I'm just back from a NV trip.

Nice that you mentioned me and others that have tagged along on some hikes.

>>I am NOT a natural athlete.
>>Being small and scrawny I am better suited to
>>playing chess and solving math problems.

I've always considered that Physical ability, Mental drive, and Finances were key components in climbing lots of peaks.

However, I should add raw IQ (problem solving) to the list - the ability to plan an "attack" on the peak that willwork. Thus chess playing may have some bearing on peak climbing.

Also, don't sell your physical abilities short - you make good time uphill, and have a good build for rock climbing -

see ya - Andy

Andy Martin at Mount Cleveland in 2010
after a successful summit bid with
Dennis Poulin and Adam Helman.

August 31

private message by Dennis Poulin -

Subject: Congrats

Hi Adam,

I was hiking in ID/WY/MT when you finished "THE" list. I tried to send "Congrats" from my smart phone, but I don't think it was delivered.

I do want to send my warmest congratulaions and accolades as well. Hurrah!   Hurrah!   Hurrah!

Now you can retire from mountain climbing and write your memoirs...

I noticed that you listed me in your short list of "next probable completers of the western CONUS CoHP's". It is still one of the many lists that I am pursuing. I have actually surpassed 100 new CoHP's in 2012. Unfortunately, not many of them are in the west. I have surpassed 300 in the west though.

My timeline for finishing the west is 3-5 years as long as I am healthy and the price of gasoline does not double again. Maybe Edward and I can finish THE list together somewhere in CO.

Next week I will be heading north to try Glacier Peak again. The weather looks promising, so I am hopeful. Eric Noel and Ken Russell are going with me. It will be my last Ultra CoHP. I will still have Stuart and Crazy to pursue to finish the Ultra 57 list.

Again, Hurrah!   Hurrah!   Hurrah!


Adam on the famous overhanging rappel
of the Grand Teton in Wyoming -
climbed with Dennis Poulin in 2008.

September 6

Prominence discussion group message -

Subject: photo collage and congratulatory messages web page
Thu Sep 6, 2012 3:48 pm (PDT). Posted by: Rob Woodall

That's a nice web page, Adam! [comment: Rob refers to this very web page.]

Seems I never actually congratulated you - as you know we were chasing about in CO at the time.

Anyway - CONGRATULATIONS on seeing through this tough long term challenge - a great exercise in networking, co-ordination - not to mention climbing! Some great peaks on that list, of which I know just a tiny proportion.


Glacier Peak
Glacier Peak is at-once the Snohomish
County, Washington highpoint and an
ultra prominence peak.

As-such Rob W. climbed it in 2010 with
Petter Bjørstad - indeed, the very
first USA ultra for Rob and
among many many more to come.

atop Mount Adams
Adam Helman (viewer left) and Bob Bolton atop Mount Adams,
the final, 414th western USA county highpoint.
Magnificent Mount Rainier, the Pierce County highpoint, is in the left background.

return to summer 2012 trip report