Will Open: Once State Regulators Conclude MESA Review
Hanging Mountain lays in the small, southwestern Massachusetts hamlet of Sandisfield, just three miles from the Connecticut border. The WMCC owns 14 acres of mountainside and jointly manages the area with Connecticut’s Ragged Mountain Foundation through a Joint Stewardship Committee. The RMF split the purchase of this parcel with the WMCC, creating the only climber owned area in Southern New England.
This approximately 1000-foot-long series of southeast facing cliffs, ranging from approximately 60 to 240 feet in height, contains granite, granitic gneiss, and large pockets of friable schist. As the name may suggest, portions of Hanging Mountain can be unstable, at times shedding significant amounts of stone: once open, wear a helmet, especially when belaying, and expect to encounter at least some loose rock.
Most of the 14-acre property at Hanging Mountain has been designated as Priority Habitat by MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program (NHESP). As a result, Hanging Mountain and any work performed there is heavily regulated to ensure that the WMCC is in compliance with the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act and Wetlands Protection Act.
The WMCC recently submitted and received approval of a Land Management Plan, the first step in the important process to develop Hanging Mountain in compliance with state regulations. Currently the WMCC is working with NHESP to file a Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA) Review. Once successful, the WMCC will earn a permit to complete trails and infrastructure on the approved section of Hanging Mountain. This will allow a portion of the property to be opened to the public for recreational use.
Visiting Hanging Mountain now could bring this whole process to a halt and/or prevent the WMCC from ever earning a permit to climb here.
The WMCC will continue to work with NHESP developing plans and receiving approval for future projects to develop more of the Hanging Mountain Property. More information about NHESP can be found here.
Parking is currently closed.
Click here for a link to the interactive map above of all the Western Mass crags discussed on this site.