The observatory has a helipad in front of the Palomar Testbed Interferometer. From time to time I am asked if our astronomers fly to Palomar via helicopter to come and use the big telescope.
Alas, the astronomers arrive here by car just like the rest of us. The helipad serves as a landing site in emergencies. Our remote location puts us an hour or two away from a hospital by ambulance. A helicopter can cover that distance in just a few minutes.
The Palomar Mountain Volunteer Fire Departments and law enforcement officials were called into action this morning to rescue someone who had become trapped in the back country last night during a snow storm.
As far as I know everything turned out just fine.
Once again let me remind visitors that our winter weather can be lots of fun, but there are dangers associated with cold and ice. Be careful out there!