UPDATE: Both Men Freed From Natural Well on Monte Sano, Both Okay

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Good news – Huntsville Fire & Rescue crews freed two men from a deep pit on Monte Sano earlier Thursday.

One man came out after 12:30 p.m. and teams got the second man out just after 1:15 p.m.

The men were rappelling in Natural Well, a deep pit/cave about a mile off Panorama Drive.

A third man was with them, but it doesn’t appear he went in.  He’s okay, and may have been the person who called for help.

Capt. Frank McKenzie, public information officer for Huntsville Fire & Rescue, said crews rappelled down the well to get the men out.

They were about 100 feet down, and the well itself is about 225 feet deep.  Vehicles for the various rescue groups parked along Panorama Drive and waited for the crews to walk out of the woods.

The men who were rappelling decided to stay in the woods, we’re told.  However, they are okay.


  • Karinttt

    Fantastic that you attached a generalized map of the area where this happened. So many times you don’t know where the things reported occurred. And that’s especially true if you did not grow up in Huntsville. I grew up in Huntsville and I still don’t know where all these places are. A general location map attached to a story is such a help. Thank you.

  • Joe

    Natural Well is the name of a cave. It’s not a well, it’s a vertical limestone cave. You might want to make that known, because the entire hiking and caving community in north alabama is giving themselves a face-palm reading this article.

  • G. Oliver

    People are really not very smart for putting themselves in a position where they need to be rescued by rescuers who are needed for people in trouble due to no fault of their own. This is just like all the mountain climbers that rescue teams end up rescuing. Where is the common sense here?

    • sam

      Exactly, people should never do anything that might risk their health. I don’t want to pay for them either. *drives car* *eats fast food* *drinks* *smokes* *watches tv*

      Oh and I’m not 100% sure if they responded, but, the Huntsville Cave Rescue Unit is an all-volunteer non-profit rescue squad. Also, this was not a difficult and dangerous rescue for any person with basic ropework competency.

  • Ali

    Why is everyone demanding they have to pay for this rescue? Do you think people that get trapped in there car after wreck should pay to be rescued? Or someone that is trapped in there house during a fire that has to be rescued?

  • Ranger Waites

    This is an issue that is apparent nowadays that outdoor adventures are made so accessible and are glamorized and popularized by TV, Google and the outdoor industry itself. I did mountain rescue in Colorado and it was very common that little research is ever done ahead of time by people who are seeking outdoor adventure. We made it policy and ethic to not chastise people who get themselves in these situations. Trust me, they do enough self-chastising after the fact. It’s a hard learning lesson. Most accidents come from inexperience and not knowing how to use their gear. First principle of Leave No Trace, “know where you go”. This goes for all levels of outdoor adventuring. People are going to do what they do. In Colorado, you could purchase a COSAR card for less than a dollar and the proceeds went to mountain rescue. I wish we had more rescue resources in Alabama now that wilderness areas are seeing a rise in usage. I orchestrated a wilderness rescue in the Sipsey Wilderness back in the Fall. We had to rely on local volunteer rescue sources that had little or no backcountry skills. I was more worried about secondary incidence in situations like those.

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