Board Minutes: October 20, 2021




A Zoom meeting of the board of directors of Western Mass Climbers Coalition (WMCC, a Massachusetts Nonprofit corporation), was held on October 20, 2021 at 7p ET pursuant to notice given in accordance with Article 11, Section 3 of the WMCC’s bylaws.


Stephanie Giguere, President; Dolci Mascolo and Sara McFadden, Co-Vice Presidents; Pamela Matsuda-Dunn, Secretary; Danielle Rao, Treasurer; and Rob Sullivan.

Stephanie Giguere called the meeting to order. Based on the number of directors in attendance at the meeting and the Non-Profit’s by-laws, the Secretary determined that a quorum was present and stated that the meeting could proceed. Topics discussed and decisions made follow below.

Hanging Mountain:


There was concern that many climbers were not wearing helmets even though they are strongly advised to do so on signs at HM and in the guidebook. It was noted that we cannot require helmets because of liability issues, nor do we have the means to enforce it.


Although it is stated on the kiosks and in the guidebook that dogs must be leashed (to protect the plants), most of the dogs at the crag are unleashed. Stephanie suggested that we get the message out on social media. We can feature pictures from climbers of their dogs on leashes at HM. We can also leave leashes by the kiosks to borrow, much as stick clips are available to borrow at Muir Valley.

Spring closing of Hanging Mountain?

Because of the instability of HM, it was suggested that we might want to close the area in the spring until it stabilizes.

Action: We will ask the Stewardship Committee to make a recommendation to the board.

Pamela will talk to Stow Kelner about liability and trespassers if we decide to close in the spring.

Rock Fall Sign:

The board voted unanimously to replace the current Rock Fall sign with one that Stow had suggested: “Recent Rock Fall” 

Action: Rob will talk to Jeff Squire about ordering the correct sign.


Drones are a problem at HM because of noise and interference with peregrine nesting. 

Action: The board agreed that there will be a policy of “no drones at Hanging Mountain without permission.”

Route Development Protocol (RDP):

Rob recommended a committee be formed to develop a policy for this and that it be a subcommittee of the HM stewardship committee. He named some people who could be part of this committee. Stephanie and Pamela nominated Dolci for the committee. Dolci requested that a place be held for someone that the JDEI committee could recommend for RDP. She also thought that developers should help with the development of the infrastructure (trails, etc) as well. The board agreed with both of these items.

Update: Steve Johnson will finish his report for the other half of Hanging Mountain by Monday.

Action: Further discussion is needed to determine the makeup and requirements for members of an RDP committee.

Hanging Mountain opening and celebration a success!

Total revenue: about $2,000 ($700 from raffle)

$682.42 (food – 382.42) + $83 (food, ice, charcoal) = $765.42

Total profit: $1,234.58

Stephanie suggested that this should be a yearly event. No vote was taken, but the board was in general agreement that this would be a good thing.

Farley Ledges:

Farley confrontation?

A climber was approached by the Speed of Life boulder at Farley Ledges, by a possible landowner who was carrying a gun at the time.

Action: Rob will reach out to one of the climbers involved to get details and more information about the situation.

Potential parking:

More parking is badly needed for hikers using the New England Trail (NET) as well as for climbers. 

Action: On Monday (10/25) representatives from the AMC and WMCC will meet at Farley to look at parking in general and to check out the Rock family property (73.5 acres) to assess its potential for parking and access to the NET and Crag X and Crag Y.

FERC/First Light Power (FL) update:

Pamela reported that many of the stakeholders have expressed their support of our request for a land transfer of the 40-acre area that comprises Farley Ledges, both privately and publicly in meetings with First Light. She emailed Carter Wall of FL outlining our argument for the transfer of land, addressing FL’s concerns about dam safety, and requesting a separate meeting to discuss this further. The next general stakeholders’ meeting with FL is scheduled for October 29.


Sara reported that we had reached out to people who had previously signed up, but had gotten no responses. Stephanie suggested we start small, perhaps using WMCC’s social media to get people to suggest names for speakers.

People are confused about putting feedback on routes on the google form and not on Mountain Project (MP). How do we articulate this more clearly?

Land Acknowledgement and Safe Space info: 

Action: Add this information to crag info on the website.

The Safe Space sign is a xerox encased in plastic. It is looking worn.

Action: Pamela will order a laminated signed to replace it.


Stephanie reported that people can now be joint members of both WMCC and Ragged Mountain Foundation (RMF). RMF will take care of billing for joint memberships and send WMCC quarterly updates and payments.

The month of October is our first membership drive ever. We have 39 new members!

Upcoming Events:

Is Reel Rock 16 happening? What about winter zoom events?

Gym to Crag: We should discuss this event at the next board meeting. It was suggested that we could add a tour component in the spring – perhaps a tour of various sections of Farley to familiarize people with the area and climbs.


There being no other business to consider, the meeting was adjourned 9:07 pm.


The next Board meeting is a public meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, November 17 at 7p via Zoom.



Pamela Matsuda-Dunn