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Adam Helman (1960-2015)


We mourn the passing of Adam Helman who was the driving force behind the county highpointing website.

Here’s the biography that appeared on his book The Finest Peaks Prominence and other Mountain Measures

Adam Helman lived in San Diego, California and pursued climbing all year-round. Although he earned a doctorate in physical chemistry, for the past dozen years he has been a software designer and scientific programmer.

Upset with the growing lack of opportunities in Corporate America for creative, mathematically inclined people, Adam changed focus and struck out to use his considerable analytical skills, programming experience, and love of mountains by writing a book that leverages all three areas.

Instrumental in this regard was his best friend Edward Earl, also of San Diego. Edward has been a prominence expert for several years, and, with a similar educational background, wrote scientific software for the automated computation of prominence. They often climb together, be it in the Southern California desert or some peak in the Andes of South America.

Adam is a county highpointer, with the goal of reaching the highest summits of counties in the western United States. He is webmaster for the county highpointer club, a site that he designed and implemented in 2000. Since then, the county highpointing hobby has seen an explosion in activity – with nearly 300 members throughout the United States.

When time and finances permit Adam organizes and participates in climbing expeditions to Latin America, his knowledge of Spanish being helpful. He is most pleased with an ascent of Nevado Illimani, Bolivia’s most famous mountain, in May 2001 with Bob Packard (21,201 feet).

Adam Helman maintains a set of personal web pages. There is a mountaineering page with links to several climbing-oriented trip reports.

Adam’s resume is on cohp

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