During our Winter 2020 grant cycle, we funded Western Mass Climbers Coalition’s (WMCC) effort to acquire and permanently protect the 14-acre Hanging Mountain property, located near the border of Massachusetts and Connecticut. WMCC’s goal was to open this remarkable property to the public as a new climbing area. Recently, the WMCC reported that they have acquired the land and completed critical trail and parking infrastructure, and are awaiting approval of the management plan from state environmental regulators before the crag is open to the public. WMCC will continue to raise funding to pay the outstanding loan balance.
The Hanging Mountain acquisition will forever guarantee public access to this open space for rock climbing, hiking, and bird watching. The property features a long chain of ten separate granite, gneiss, and schist crags, some as high as 240 feet, with an estimated 200 pitches of climbing, some of it multi-pitch. The majority of these cliffs have never been open to climbers before. Now, not only will the cliffs be protected, they will be accessible to climbers, with the space for approach trails and a parking lot. The addition of this climbing area will alleviate the pressures placed on nearby climbing areas due to the growing popularity of rock climbing.