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Arial view of Hanging Mountain cliff.

Hanging Mountain

Now Open: October 2nd, 2021

Intro | MESA Review | Parking | Guidebook | Map | Trails | Facilities | Falcon Closure | Grants | Donate to Hanging Mountain

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: wear a helmet, especially when belaying, and expect to encounter at least some loose rock.

MESA Review

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.

More information about NHESP can be found here.

Parking

The parking is located at 43 South Main Street, Sandisfield, MA. Google Map to Hanging Mountain Parking Lot.

The primary parking area and the trail head can be found at the edge of the talus; the shoulder of the access road offers additional spots. Please park considerately and make the $5.00 suggested donation to the “iron ranger.” There is a designated Accessible parking space for visitors with disabilities.

A smaller, spill-over lot can be found on Army Corps of Engineers (federal, public property) land just across both Route 8 and the Farmington River.  Exit our property, turn left (north) on route 8, cross the river and take a quick right, cross a steel bridge and take another quick right into a small, circular parking area.  Again, please park considerately.

Guidebook

A PDF of the guidebook is available to download for free: Hanging Mountain Guidebook.

Updates will be made regularly. Please do not use any of this feedback for Mountain Project as this is being made available for free and can be regulated for Justice Diversity Equity Inclusion components by the WMCC. Please share input about routes at: tinyurl.com/RouteFeedbackHangingMountain .

We are open to feedback about implicit bias in route names. If you have input on how to help you or someone else feel more welcome and safe, please submit input at: https://tinyurl.com/SafeSpaceHangingMountain.

Map

Click here for a link to the interactive map above of all the Western Mass crags discussed on this site.

Trails

The main access trail is located beyond the kiosk at the end of the parking lot. A map of the area is posted on the kiosk and signs clearly indicate each crag. It is of utmost importance that visitors stay on established trails to protect endangered and protected species.

Facilities

The WMCC provides an ADA accessible Porta-Potty located in the main parking lot for most months of the year (not available in the off season). Please, always be prepared and bring a ‘wag bag.’

Falcon Closure

The WMCC, in accordance to the wishes of Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife, maintains a voluntary, seasonal closure of selected routes to enable nesting pairs of Peregrine Falcons to hatch and raise their offspring in peace.

The closure is in effect from February 15th – June15th every year.

Grants

Hanging Mountain would not be possible without an astounding $93,500 in grants from partner organizations.

Access Fund: The Access Fund not only backed the purchase of Hanging Mountain with a Climbing Conservation loan, but has also funded the project with two grants in 2020: a $2,000 and a $5,000 grant for a total of $7,000. Thank you to Dolci Mascolo for writing these grants!

Appalachian Mountain Club: The AMC has been supportive of the Hanging Mountain project, generously awarding the WMCC with a total of $23,500 towards Hanging Mountain in 2021. The AMC is also providing an additional $7,500 in technical trail work from the AMC trail crew, which will be completed in 2022. Thank you to Dolci Mascolo and Bill Fogel for working on these grants!

Conservation Alliance: The Conservation Alliance awarded the WMCC and RMF a $30,000 grant in 2020. Thank you to Rob Sullivan for writing this grant!

MassTrails: The WMCC is a 2020 award recipient of a $25,500 MassTrails grant. The MassTrails grant is a reimbursement grant. The WMCC will also match 20% of the total project cost. Thank you to Jeff Squire and Dolci Mascolo for working on this grant!

We are so grateful to all of these generous organizations and to the volunteer grant writers. Many of these volunteers are still working hard to manage these grant funds.

In Nov. of 2019, the WMCC and Ragged Mountain Foundation accepted a $79,500.00 Climbing Conservation Loan from the Access Fund to purchase the Hanging Mountain property. Since then, the WMCC has invested $31,750 into the driveway and parking lot and more on materials for trail work and biological surveys. We need your help to pay off the Access Fund loan and fund future projects. There are still trails and other infrastructure to develop in 2022. Thank you for your support!

Donate

Fall 2019 Trail Day at Farley Ledges

Sun. Nov. 3rd 

(Rain date: Sun. Nov. 17th)
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Meet us at the main lot at Farley Ledges.

Please do your part to maintain the trails at Farley Ledges. We all use the trails, and we should all help to maintain and improve them.

Most tools will be provided by the WMCC. Feel free to bring shovels, rakes, gloves etc. Come prepared to get dirty!

Western Mass Bouldering History: A film presentation on the past, present, and future of New England’s best bouldering

Western Mass Bouldering History: A film presentation on the past, present, and future of New England’s best bouldering

A presentation by Jonah Meyer and Kai Webler.

Watch archival footage of historic first ascents, learn more about the development of bouldering in Western Mass, and watch high-end video of modern first ascents.

Tuesday, February 26th
7:00-9:00 Central Rock Gym Hadley, Party Room

 

” Western Mass Bouldering History” is one of two Winter Seminars hosted by the Western Mass Climber’s Coalition this year. Seminars are free and everyone is invited to participate.

Reel Rock 13

 

 SOLD OUT! 

Thanks to everyone who bought tickets. See you Friday!

Get rreeaaddy for REEL ROCK! This November, REEL ROCK 13 blazes across the planet with a brand new collection of the year’s best climbing films, delivering jaw-dropping action, soulful journeys and rollicking humor.

Join us at Central Rock Gym in Hadley, MA. to watch four short films in Reel Rock 13: “The Age of Ondra,” “Up to Speed,” “Queen Maud Land” and “Valley of the Moon.”

Watch trailer

 *Purchase advance tickets online here

We hope you’re thirsty, because there will be plenty to drink from our cash beer and wine bar, as well as tastings by V-one Vodka. Of course, there will be pizza too!

Date: Fri., Dec. 14th

Doors open: 6:00

Show starts: 7:00

Tickets: $10 in advance, $15 at the door

Location: CRG Hadley – 165 Russell Street Hadley, MA 01035

All proceeds benefit WMCC.