Will Open: Once all requirements of the MESA review have been met
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. The WMCC has also filed a Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA) Review, which has been approved. The WMCC is now completing a few projects that the MESA review required. Once the projects outlined in the MESA review are complete, Hanging Mountain will open to the public.
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.
Donate to Hanging Mountain
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!