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pro or con gri gri?
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iridesantacruz


Aug 23, 2004, 2:07 PM
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pro or con gri gri?
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do you like gri gris? why or why not, and include if u have one/used one


-chris


jt512


Aug 23, 2004, 2:12 PM
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jt512 moved this thread [In reply to]
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jt512 moved this thread from General to Gear Heads.


overlord


Aug 23, 2004, 2:14 PM
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i like it because its autolocking and it thus adds a nice safety bonus.

but its not a device to teach somebody how to belay.


jstone


Aug 23, 2004, 2:21 PM
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they're great-

when you're driving down the road, not paying attention- you know off in LA LA LAND- just daydreaming away without a care in the world. and then BAM!!!!! and you've just rear-ended a MAC truck.

your car is destroyed, air bags deployed, etc.

but hey- your gri-gri just kept you from smearing your lipstick on the windshield.

see- you don't need a care in the world, or need to pay attention, or need any basic skills for it to work...


Partner euroford


Aug 23, 2004, 2:30 PM
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jt512 moved this thread from General to Gear Heads.

you should have moved this to community.


rcaret


Aug 23, 2004, 3:08 PM
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I use a Gri Gri , I think for certain circumstances they are great ,Users do need proper training and they are not fool proof as many people think .


petsfed


Aug 23, 2004, 3:12 PM
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Makes belaying an unrepentent hangdogger easier. For the redpoint, using an ATC is easier, but if the climber falls, it can get quite uncomfortable very quickly. Also, great for cleaning an aid pitch.

/stuipd splelling erors....


crimpandgo


Aug 23, 2004, 3:25 PM
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Toprope belay = yes
Lead belay = no


nmoroder


Aug 23, 2004, 3:29 PM
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In reply to:
they're great-

when you're driving down the road, not paying attention- you know off in LA LA LAND- just daydreaming away without a care in the world. and then BAM!!!!! and you've just rear-ended a MAC truck.

your car is destroyed, air bags deployed, etc.

but hey- your gri-gri just kept you from smearing your lipstick on the windshield.

see- you don't need a care in the world, or need to pay attention, or need any basic skills for it to work...

Well, not entirely true. You need to pay attention when using a gri-gri because a light fall WILL NOT lock up the device. It can fail. It's nice to know that it might work as a back up, but don't trust your or anyone else's life to the auto-locking properties of the gri-gri. Deaths and serious injuries have resulted from people taking advantage of the gri-gri.

Do a search of the forums; as this topic has come up 492,939,903 times.


paulraphael


Aug 23, 2004, 3:32 PM
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Hate them!
I think they make sense for certain belay chores: unrepentent hangdoggers, as was mentioned, and aid leaders, who will be at it for hours longer than anyone can pay attention. These are both cases where the belayer is experienced, but wants to chill out.

But gri gris are pushed pretty heavily on beginners, which I think is a mistake. Gyms force people to use them, and a lot of people give them to noobs, on grounds that they're fool proof. but there are problems. First, they are NOT foolproof. They can be rigged wrong, and they can be defeated by people using them wrong. It's happened in gyms: there was a well publicized story of someone grabbing onto the strand of rope going to the climber (a not too well thought out panic reaction). the result was the gri gri not catching, the climber decking, and the belayer being rushed to the hospital with hideous rope burns.

Considering that it's not in fact fool proof in the hands of beginners (or fools), I'd rather see newbies getting instruction and exprience with a normal belay device. I don't like the idea of taking someone to the crags who's only had gri gri experience in the gym. Makes me nervous.


crimpandgo


Aug 23, 2004, 3:56 PM
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Do folks really just hand a gri-gri to a nOOb and say "have at it"?

gri gris can serve a valuable purpose of providing a back up should something happen to your belayer irregardless of their experience level.


wonder1978


Aug 23, 2004, 4:38 PM
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I've been having this debate with a friend of mine for a long time. I agree with most opinions above: Good when hangdogging routes to death, really bad for noobs.

My main argument against it, in the case of my (very experienced) friend is that I feel that over time it has caused him to form some bad belaying habits, mainly lack of attention to the climber, and unconditional trust in the device. He disagrees of course.

His main argument for it, and something that hasn't been brought up here, is that the gri-gri will still catch the climber in a situation in which the belayer becomes suddenly disabled, by a falling rock for example, something that a normal belay device won't do. Plus it's a lot easier to get out of the belay system (in a rescue situation for example) if you're using a self-locking belay device such as a gri-gri. And I do agree with this.


irockclimb


Aug 23, 2004, 4:51 PM
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yea well i do and dont like them. First i dont belive in being a lazy belayer becusae you will never learn and get to be a better belayer from that. But i think it is useful using it to belay and second on a multipitch climb. also i let people belay me with it but not lower me if they are new to climbing. but i teach them how to use a atc and explain how the grigri works and wat they must do to pull up slack


daggerx


Aug 23, 2004, 5:17 PM
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It depends for top roping other people then yes I like them but for any thing else no, they slip on skinny or wet rope and it lets the belayers attention wonder


healyje


Aug 23, 2004, 6:26 PM
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When they first came out I had my partner convinced for the longest time that "Gri-Gri" was French for "Poodle".


jt512


Aug 23, 2004, 6:35 PM
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Why do people ask this all the time about the gri-gri? It's all a matter of preference. In the hands of a competent user I don't care if they use a gri-gri, atc or atc-xp. I'll use any of the three interchangeably. Some people like the auto-locking and some people hate it...I don't really care that much if it's there or not. It's more of a convenience because I don't need it but there isn't anything wrong with having it. Since it's there when I use a gri-gri I'll take advantage of the autolocking by allowing it to make the catch by itself and holding the hanging belayer. Again, not that I need it but since it's there I'd rathers well use it. Sometimes I'll use my atc or my atc-xp.

D3+ and thumbs down vote for your post for the sentence I bolded.

-Jay


oregonalpine


Aug 23, 2004, 7:02 PM
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We used gri-gris at the climbing wall I used to work at, and they worked great. Maybe 2 minutes of instruction and they're off to belaying. Really simple process for toproping, but not very practical for any lead climbing. Even with the auto-locking I would still use the same technique and precautions as any normal ATC, better safe than sorry, but they are very sweet if you have a beginner belaying you.


jt512


Aug 23, 2004, 7:08 PM
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We used gri-gris at the climbing wall I used to work at, and they worked great. Maybe 2 minutes of instruction and they're off to belaying. Really simple process for toproping...

D4.

In reply to:
...but not very practical for any lead climbing.

And that's just plain wrong.

In reply to:
...but they are very sweet if you have a beginner belaying you.

A beginner who's had "maybe 2 minutes of instruction?" No thanks.

-Jay


kalcario


Aug 23, 2004, 7:10 PM
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25:1 rc.com gumby to climber ratio proven once again...good job folks.

ATC's should be outlawed for belaying leaders on suspect rock, a few weeks ago a partner of mine knocked a good-sized chunk of rock off while being lowered and it missed his ATC wielding belayer by inches, had it hit her in the head he'd be crippled or dead.

Why would I trust someone with an ATC if they can't figure out a grigri?


crimpandgo


Aug 24, 2004, 9:56 AM
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Quote:
...but not very practical for any lead climbing.



I find using the gri-gri for lead belaying to be a pain as well. Have troubles feeding rope out as leader goes up. Consequently I have switched back to using atc solely. I didn't think twice about the decision until last week when I almost landed a loose rock on my belayers head. Started thinkin that having that back up would have been really NICE ...


iridesantacruz


Aug 24, 2004, 10:38 AM
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i agree with everyone, no noobs, and nothing on redpoint. though when i use a gri gri on t/r i get real real nervous when they make a strong move that puts a good amount of slack in the system becuase its not locked anymore. If the climber would fall at taht point it would be quite confusing, im sure the device would snap right back into the locking position, but the climber may be dropped some... anyone know of any stories?


-chris


kalcario


Aug 24, 2004, 10:50 AM
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* when you're driving down the road, not paying attention- you know off in LA LA LAND- just daydreaming away without a care in the world. and then BAM!!!!! and you've just rear-ended a MAC truck.

your car is destroyed, air bags deployed, etc.

but hey- your gri-gri just kept you from smearing your lipstick on the windshield.

see- you don't need a care in the world, or need to pay attention, or need any basic skills for it to work...*

I agrigri...er, agree with you, seat belts and air bags, and insurance for that matter, do create a dangerous sense of complacency when driving...I personally have bolted a shotgun, pointed at my head, to the dashboard of my car, and hooked up the trigger to the airbag impact sensor...keeps me more alert behind the wheel. Similarly I eschew entirely the use of ropes when climbing and free solo everything, I am much safer this way because the chances of my belayer screwing up are practically nil...


jt512


Aug 24, 2004, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
...but not very practical for any lead climbing.



I find using the gri-gri for lead belaying to be a pain as well. Have troubles feeding rope out as leader goes up.

Then you don't know how to use a gri-gri properly. I have belayed about 5,000 leads with a gri-gri, and I can assure you that if you handle the device right you will have no problem feeding rope out.

-Jay


jt512


Aug 24, 2004, 11:05 AM
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i agree with everyone, no noobs, and nothing on redpoint.

Not that I actually know what "nothing on redpoint" means, but you don't agree with everyone. You agree with the other n00bs who don't know what they're doing. Kalcario and I, who are probably the only 2 people in the thread who have extensively used the device, are trying to tell you that, properly used, it is safer than an ATC for belaying a leader. As usual, the comments of competent, experienced climbers are getting drowned out by hoards of overly opinionated, inexperienced neophytes, who should be asking questions, not answering them.

In reply to:
though when i use a gri gri on t/r i get real real nervous when they make a strong move that puts a good amount of slack in the system becuase its not locked anymore.

Then you don't know how to belay and you don't understand how the device works. The device is not supposed to ever be locked, except when your partner falls or takes.

In reply to:
If the climber would fall at taht point it would be quite confusing, im sure the device would snap right back into the locking position, but the climber may be dropped some... anyone know of any stories?

When your partner falls you do essentially the same thing whether you're using an ATC or a grigri. If you find that confusing, for god's sake, stick to bouldering.

-Jay


climb_plastic


Aug 24, 2004, 11:09 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
Why do people ask this all the time about the gri-gri? It's all a matter of preference. In the hands of a competent user I don't care if they use a gri-gri, atc or atc-xp. I'll use any of the three interchangeably. Some people like the auto-locking and some people hate it...I don't really care that much if it's there or not. It's more of a convenience because I don't need it but there isn't anything wrong with having it. Since it's there when I use a gri-gri I'll take advantage of the autolocking by allowing it to make the catch by itself and holding the hanging belayer. Again, not that I need it but since it's there I'd rathers well use it. Sometimes I'll use my atc or my atc-xp.

D3+ and thumbs down vote for your post for the sentence I bolded.

-Jay

I didn't mean to not have my brake hand on. The brake hand is still the primary mode to catch the fall but the gri-gri cams with the upward pull which will sometimes lock sooner than the brake hand would have made the catch. So what's the difference? You put the brake hand on with an atc and it catches...you put a brake hand on with a gri gri and it catches.

I don't see this big advantage that an atc has over the gri-gri, and vice versa. I think the grigri takes on too much criticism because of the autolock...which when you really think about it, is a good idea to have. Sure it can be used wrong but so can the atc.


crimpandgo


Aug 24, 2004, 11:10 AM
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Can you explain how to handle the device correctly for us less experienced folks? I have read the instructions and I have used the device for toprope and lead belaying many times. You have learned some things from field use that others can take advantage of.


crimpandgo


Aug 24, 2004, 11:15 AM
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JT wrote:

As usual, the comments of competent, experienced climbers are getting drowned out by hoards of overly opinionated, inexperienced neophytes, who should be asking questions, not answering them.

Response:
The problem is you are simply stating the everyone else are idiots. Your posts have no meet behind them. You keep stating "if used correctly..." If you don't want people to post crap then substantiate your posts with more facts and less critical comments. If you state read the instructions, I cry BS. There is more people can learn from your vast experience in the field than simply telling them that what they are saying is wrong.


kalcario


Aug 24, 2004, 11:24 AM
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*So what's the difference? You put the brake hand on with an atc and it catches...you put a brake hand on with a gri gri and it catches.

I don't see this big advantage that an atc has over the gri-gri, and vice versa.*

Next time you're in the gym, drag a few crash pads beneath a top rope route, have your partner tie in and climb up a few feet and fall off. Now while he's hanging there, you completely let go of both ends of the rope that you're belaying him with. Try this with both an ATC and a grigri. If you still fail to notice the difference, try asking your partner if he noticed anything different. If neither of you can still tell the difference, consult a gym employee.


jt512


Aug 24, 2004, 11:33 AM
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In reply to:
Can you explain how to handle the device correctly for us less experienced folks? I have read the instructions and I have used the device for toprope and lead belaying many times. You have learned some things from field use that others can take advantage of.

I pretty much follow Petzl's instructions verbatim. First of all, for proper orientation, the grigri goes on the belay loop, not through the tie-in points of the harness, with the lever on top, not bottom. If the lever is facing the ground, the grigri is upside down. Left hand is on the lead rope, right hand on the brake rope. To feed out rope, simultaneously pull rope out with the left and push it in with the right. If the leader needs slack fast to make a high clip, the right hand slides up the rope and cradles the device. The last two fingers of the right hand press the cam laterally, preventing it from locking up, and the left hand yanks out slack. With practice, you can keep the thumb and index finger of your right hand around the rope while doing this. As soon as I have enough slack out for the leader to make the clip, I slide my right hand down so it is completely back on the brake rope. Should the leader fall while I'm holding the cam open, the shock load should still cause the cam to lock, since I'm only pressing laterally on it with two fingers. Nonetheless, while the leader is pulling up slack for a clip, I am always poised to slide my hand back down so that it is entirely on the brake end, should he fall.

Tips: If the grigri is locking up on you then there are several possible causes. One, is that you are keeping the belay too tight. This is a common beginner error. The lead rope should ususally have a few feet of slack in it. Second, you might need to practice the push-pull technique more. Third, you may be falling behing your partner. Work on staying a half-move ahead of him when belaying. Finally, thin ropes are easier to use in a gri-gri than old, worn, fat ones.

-Jay


genevieve


Aug 24, 2004, 11:33 AM
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I like to use the grigri because my boyfriend is 60lb heavier than me, so it's less difficult for me to hold him if he falls (but note that I'm as attentive when belaying with a grigri as I am when belaying with an ATC).

And I must agree with JT512. When you know how to use properly a grigri for lead belaying, it's pretty easy to feed the rope out.


jt512


Aug 24, 2004, 11:36 AM
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In reply to:
JT wrote:

As usual, the comments of competent, experienced climbers are getting drowned out by hoards of overly opinionated, inexperienced neophytes, who should be asking questions, not answering them.

Response:
The problem is you are simply stating the everyone else are idiots. Your posts have no meet behind them. You keep stating "if used correctly..." If you don't want people to post crap then substantiate your posts with more facts and less critical comments. If you state read the instructions, I cry BS. There is more people can learn from your vast experience in the field than simply telling them that what they are saying is wrong.

1. In response to your first, non-whiney, request, I have posted what I do.
2. I've posted the same thing many times before. Try a Google search.
3. As I stated in my response, I essentially follow Petzl's instructions strictly.

-Jay


overkill


Aug 24, 2004, 11:41 AM
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I don't understand why so many people say that they don't think the gri-gri is suitable for belaying lead climbs. I use the gri-gri almost all the time because in case i have a stroke my partner won't die too. And I can whip out the burner and make a nice BLT when the dude is resting. :D


outdoorclimber


Aug 24, 2004, 11:49 AM
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Jay, You are Brilliant!!!
I only had problems feeding the rope when I was using the device improperly. If you pay attention while belaying and learn how to use the device the grigri is, in my humble opinion, by far the best belay device on the market.


paulraphael


Aug 24, 2004, 11:50 AM
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When it comes to escaping the belay, the techniques for doing this with an ATC or equivalent take about five seconds longer than with an autolocker.

When it comes to belaying the second on a multipitch route, you get the same convenience from an autoblocking device like a reverso, b-52, plaquet, or gi-gi. The gri gri makes it easier to lower someone, but for me it's not worth the extra half pound of dead weight just to be able to autoblock.

In any case, a gri gri has no place on a trad route of any kind, because its lack of dynamics dramatically increases fall forces on the pro (and of course, on the climber, the belayer, and possibly the anchor).

Someone asked if gri gris are really just handed to noobs these days. I haven't seen anything quite that blatant. but there's a definite attitude at gyms these days that the gri gri makes it unecessary to spend much time teaching someone to belay. This, I think, is the critical mistake. The gri gri should act as a backup, but not as a replacement for good belaying skills and well trained reactions.


crimpandgo


Aug 24, 2004, 11:53 AM
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Quote:
Jay, You are Brilliant!!!
I only had problems feeding the rope when I was using the device improperly. If you pay attention while belaying and learn how to use the device the grigri is, in my humble opinion, by far the best belay device on the market.

Response:
outdoorclimber, How were you using the device improperly?


crimpandgo


Aug 24, 2004, 11:55 AM
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JT, can you post a link? that would be very helpful


genevieve


Aug 24, 2004, 12:06 PM
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http://dangeroustreasure.com/temp/grigri.jpg

Here's where you can find more information about the Petzl Grigri. Click on the Technical Notice link.

CLICK HERE


alpnclmbr1


Aug 24, 2004, 12:07 PM
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In reply to:
In any case, a gri gri has no place on a trad route of any kind, because its lack of dynamics dramatically increases fall forces on the pro (and of course, on the climber, the belayer, and possibly the anchor).

This is worth being repeated.


outdoorclimber


Aug 24, 2004, 12:12 PM
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How was I using my grigri improperly?

Very simple, I had bad belaying technique. I wouldn't give the leader enough slack, so the grigri kept camming on me, instead of feeding the rope through smoothly. Once I practiced the technique and read the Petzl manual the grigri worked like a charm.


crimpandgo


Aug 24, 2004, 12:16 PM
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outdoorclimber:
Thanks for the response. I have to further the question though. I tend to jam while feeding the rope to the leader (even when there is slack). Is this resolved simply by a more gentle feed? or is it a different rope feeding technique?

edited for mistake.. :lol:


genevieve


Aug 24, 2004, 12:18 PM
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In reply to:
outdoorclimber:
Thanks for the response. I have to further the question though. I tend to jam while feeding the rope to the belayer (even when there is slack). Is this resolved simply by a more gentle feed? or is it a different rope feeding technique?

I think that a more gentle feed would help. Well, for me, that works.


outdoorclimber


Aug 24, 2004, 12:34 PM
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I also noticed if you have the grigri parallel to the ground it catches less.


kalcario


Aug 24, 2004, 12:36 PM
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*In any case, a gri gri has no place on a trad route of any kind, because its lack of dynamics dramatically increases fall forces on the pro (and of course, on the climber, the belayer, and possibly the anchor).*

Please explain why it is, then, that grigri's are by far the predominant device of choice for big wall climbing, when the lack of a dynamic belay would seemingly cause marginal aid placements to fail more readily under the impact of a fall. You seem be of the belief that a bomber SLCD in a granite crack, a common scenario in trad climbing, is somehow weaker than a bolt in the choss that passes for rock, a common scenario in sport climbing. I, on the other hand, have seen many bolts pull out of choss with little effort - I have yet to see a properly deployed SLCD pull out of a granite crack. In truth, the only way to acheive a non-dynamic belay is to use static ropes tied directly to a fixed, non-moving anchor; with dynamic ropes, knot tightening, slack in the system, and belayer movement, a dynamic belay in fact cannot be avoided - which is part of the reason grigri's are used on walls.

Also if you're on multi-pitch trad and the leader factor 2's, the ATC ain't gonna work because you've rigged it for an upward pull and not a downward one, all you're gonna have is a rope running over a locking biner, unless you clip the rope into the belay as your first piece of pro - in which case the anchor gets weighted before the device does, andthe leader factor 2's onto the anchor, not the belay device - not good.


petsfed


Aug 24, 2004, 12:36 PM
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In reply to:
...When it comes to belaying the second on a multipitch route, you get the same convenience from an autoblocking device like a reverso, b-52, plaquet, or gi-gi. The gri gri makes it easier to lower someone, but for me it's not worth the extra half pound of dead weight just to be able to autoblock.

In any case, a gri gri has no place on a trad route of any kind, because its lack of dynamics dramatically increases fall forces on the pro (and of course, on the climber, the belayer, and possibly the anchor)....

I really hate the gri-gri for belaying up a second. Wierd lockoff and what not. Prefer the reverso for what it is.

A gri-gri has no place on trad routes with poor pro. I love the thing in Indian Creek. I love the thing in Vedauwoo. It does wonders in Boulder Canyon. Was quite useful in JTree. If the pro is good, the extra force on the system caused by the gri-gri will be a non-issue. Moreover, in the single pitch world since you're probably not anchoring the belayer, dynamic belays are possible, thus nullifying the no-dynamicism issue. Also, if it has no place on trad routes because it can cause gear to blow, what is it doing on big walls replete with body weight only placements?


jt512


Aug 24, 2004, 12:38 PM
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In reply to:
outdoorclimber:
Thanks for the response. I have to further the question though. I tend to jam while feeding the rope to the leader (even when there is slack). Is this resolved simply by a more gentle feed? or is it a different rope feeding technique?

edited for mistake.. :lol:

It comes down to one of the four reasons I posted. You have to get the feel of the hands working together. The correct feel (to me, anyway) is that you're pushing rope through with your right hand more than you're pulling it out with your left.

-Jay


callmeraymon


Aug 24, 2004, 12:39 PM
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I've seen a few instances when a gri gri is just bad news.
It's human nature when you become excited/frightened to tense up, i.e. pull, which isn't what should be done on a gri gri because it releases the caming action. I've seen "climbers" deck because of this. I've even seen when a climber was being lowered and askes his belayer to slow down because he was lowering him too fast. belayer got excited trying not to hurt the climber and pulled.. well you get it.
not a fan,
ray


jt512


Aug 24, 2004, 12:46 PM
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In reply to:
I've seen a few instances when a gri gri is just bad news.
It's human nature when you become excited/frightened to tense up, i.e. pull, which isn't what should be done on a gri gri because it releases the caming action. I've seen "climbers" deck because of this. I've even seen when a climber was being lowered and askes his belayer to slow down because he was lowering him too fast. belayer got excited trying not to hurt the climber and pulled.. well you get it.
not a fan,
ray

These are not instances of the grigri being "bad news." They are instances of incompetent belaying. User error. Improper training. Insufficient practice. Etc.

-Jay


kalcario


Aug 24, 2004, 12:50 PM
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*I've seen a few instances when a gri gri is just bad news.
It's human nature when you become excited/frightened to tense up, i.e. pull, which isn't what should be done on a gri gri because it releases the caming action.*

Last year 7 people died when an 85 year old driver panicked and hit the gas instead of the brakes on the 3rd St Promenade in Santa Monica. After an investigation, the car was found guilty of vehicular manslaughter and sentenced to car prison for 2 years.


callmeraymon


Aug 24, 2004, 12:59 PM
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In reply to:
*I've seen a few instances when a gri gri is just bad news.
It's human nature when you become excited/frightened to tense up, i.e. pull, which isn't what should be done on a gri gri because it releases the caming action.*

Last year 7 people died when an 85 year old driver panicked and hit the gas instead of the brakes on the 3rd St Promenade in Santa Monica. After an investigation, the car was found guilty of vehicular manslaughter and sentenced to car prison for 2 years.

SEE! SEE!
sure the guy might have been out of it. but inexperienced. i think not.


kalcario


Aug 24, 2004, 1:07 PM
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*SEE! SEE!
sure the guy might have been out of it. but inexperienced. i think not.*

make that 26:1


alpnclmbr1


Aug 24, 2004, 1:18 PM
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In reply to:
*In any case, a gri gri has no place on a trad route of any kind, because its lack of dynamics dramatically increases fall forces on the pro (and of course, on the climber, the belayer, and possibly the anchor).*

Please explain why it is, then, that grigri's are by far the predominant device of choice for big wall climbing, when the lack of a dynamic belay would seemingly cause marginal aid placements to fail more readily under the impact of a fall. You seem be of the belief that a bomber SLCD in a granite crack, a common scenario in trad climbing, is somehow weaker than a bolt in the choss that passes for rock, a common scenario in sport climbing. I, on the other hand, have seen many bolts pull out of choss with little effort - I have yet to see a properly deployed SLCD pull out of a granite crack. In truth, the only way to acheive a non-dynamic belay is to use static ropes tied directly to a fixed, non-moving anchor; with dynamic ropes, knot tightening, slack in the system, and belayer movement, a dynamic belay in fact cannot be avoided - which is part of the reason grigri's are used on walls.

I tend to think of a "trad" route as being a free climb and an "aid" route being an aid route.

You seem to be saying that high impact forces are more of a problem on a bolted sport climb then they are on a gear protected trad climb?

You also seem to be implying that the typical gear placement is better then a typical bolt? Or is all you are really saying is that a good cam is better then a bad bolt?


You people that bring grigri's on multi-pitch trad also carry a regular belay device, right?
That means most of the time the grigri is extra dead weight. Oh, and you are carrying two of them between you.
That is 450 grams plus two lockers. Call it 600 grams
That is equal to four mid size cams.


paulraphael


Aug 24, 2004, 1:22 PM
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[quote="petsfed"]
In reply to:
...When it comes to belaying the second on a multipitch route, you get the same convenience from an autoblocking device like a reverso, b-52, plaquet, or gi-gi. The gri gri makes it easier to lower someone, but for me it's not worth the extra half pound of dead weight just to be able to autoblock.

In any case, a gri gri has no place on a trad route of any kind, because its lack of dynamics dramatically increases fall forces on the pro (and of course, on the climber, the belayer, and possibly the anchor)..../quote]

I really hate the gri-gri for belaying up a second. Wierd lockoff and what not. Prefer the reverso for what it is.

A gri-gri has no place on trad routes with poor pro. I love the thing in Indian Creek. I love the thing in Vedauwoo. It does wonders in Boulder Canyon. Was quite useful in JTree. If the pro is good, the extra force on the system caused by the gri-gri will be a non-issue. Moreover, in the single pitch world since you're probably not anchoring the belayer, dynamic belays are possible, thus nullifying the no-dynamicism issue. Also, if it has no place on trad routes because it can cause gear to blow, what is it doing on big walls replete with body weight only placements?

I'll ammend what i said by adding a couple of exceptions.
as Petsfet pointed out, if you're climbing where the pro is uniformly bomber, you can get away with a gri gri.

And at the oposite end of the spectrum, the gri gri has become standard on big walls ... because experience shows it's better to have a high impact force on the rope than a higher impact force on the valley floor, thanks to your belayer having settled in for a nap four hours ago. But if you could find a belayer with an infinite attention span, then a regular device would be much, much better on a wall.


benpullin


Aug 24, 2004, 1:39 PM
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Contrary to some of the recent posts, it is definitely possible to give a dynamic belay with a gri-gri. So I have no problem with a gri-gri being used for any belay situation, regardless of route type.

Do I use a gri-gri for multi pitch gear routes? No. Simply because it's too bulky and doesn't allow for a two-rope rappel.

A gri-gri is a tool and part of using a tool to its max efficiency involves experience and using the tool correctly. Any doubter out there (who is truly interested) should learn to use the device correctly and smoothly and will soon see its benefit.


kalcario


Aug 24, 2004, 1:47 PM
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*Or is all you are really saying is that a good cam is better then a bad bolt?*

Pro is only as good as the rock it's in, and that a cam in good rock is => a bolt in bad, and that fretting over grigri's supposed lack of dynamism lacks credibility in the face of their being used extensively on dicey aid routes. If they're good enough for that, they're certainly good enough for A0 pro on trad routes.


declinebass


Aug 24, 2004, 1:52 PM
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how about you just master the atc first...then think about it and use a gri-gri once or twice and then realize that it actually creates problems....cant let people downclimb, stop paying attentinog...just strait up suck at belaying.


crimpandgo


Aug 24, 2004, 1:57 PM
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Why wont it allow people to downclimb? downclimb belay would be similar to lead belay wouldn't it? feed out rope?

edit: I am assuming toperope.


alpnclmbr1


Aug 24, 2004, 1:58 PM
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In reply to:
*Or is all you are really saying is that a good cam is better then a bad bolt?*

Pro is only as good as the rock it's in, and that a cam in good rock is => a bolt in bad, and that fretting over grigri's supposed lack of dynamism lacks credibility in the face of their being used extensively on dicey aid routes. If they're good enough for that, they're certainly good enough for A0 pro on trad routes.

Then why do not more people use them?

Or are you claiming that it is the freeclimbing belay device of choice in the valley? (and no I am not talking about freeing el cap)

It is a fact that a grigri produces higher forces in a belayed fall. As far as I know, gear placement failures is one of the leading causes of accidents. Your belayer falling asleep should be significantly less of a risk.

I wonder how people survived climbing before the grigri was invented.


kalcario


Aug 24, 2004, 2:00 PM
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* the gri gri has become standard on big walls ... because experience shows it's better to have a high impact force on the rope than a higher impact force on the valley floor, thanks to your belayer having settled in for a nap four hours ago. But if you could find a belayer with an infinite attention span, then a regular device would be much, much better on a wall.*

So all the wall climbers who use grigris priortize inattentiveness over lower impact forces on the belay and pro? I think not...I suspect they believe, especially since their own lives are on the line, that there is not enough difference between an ATC and a grigri to justify using an ATC...


madmax


Aug 24, 2004, 2:01 PM
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Gri Gris don't teach people bad belay habits, people teach people bad belay habits. Like any climbing device, you have to know how to use it. Gri Gris rock! And if you feel uncomfortable using one when someone is leading, then you don't know how to use one.


crimpandgo


Aug 24, 2004, 2:05 PM
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Quote:
And if you feel uncomfortable using one when someone is leading, then you don't know how to use one.

Response:
I think this fact has been established already. but, hey thanks for beating the point home :lol:

edited:
by the way, thanks for the previous answers to my questions. Very helpful :D


kalcario


Aug 24, 2004, 2:16 PM
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*Then why do not more people use them?

Or are you claiming that it is the freeclimbing belay device of choice in the valley? (and no I am not talking about freeing el cap)*

The question is not "why don't more people use them", the question is "if they really are so bad, and place more stress on the system, then why do people use them at all?"

The answer to both questions is that with either device you have a dynamic belay. Also you will notice that the trend these days in belay device design like Reverso's is towards the device *locking up*, instead of allowing rope to flow unimpeded. If dynamism via rope slippage is so critical, we should just go back to waist belays and 3rd degree rope burns, huh?


outdoorclimber


Aug 24, 2004, 2:32 PM
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Quote: "Them, Why don't more people use them?"

Response:
It's because they are expensive! It costs about 75$ for them and the average climber doesn't have that much money to go spend on gear.


rustybolts


Aug 24, 2004, 2:41 PM
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I bought one....never use it. It's too heavy. Anyone wanna buy a grigri?


jt512


Aug 24, 2004, 2:46 PM
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In reply to:
Contrary to some of the recent posts, it is definitely possible to give a dynamic belay with a gri-gri. So I have no problem with a gri-gri being used for any belay situation, regardless of route type.

Using a grigri, how would you give a dynamic belay at:

1. A hanging belay
2. A belay where you were tied to the anchor and the leader took a factor-2 fall.

-Jay


paulraphael


Aug 24, 2004, 3:05 PM
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In reply to:
So all the wall climbers who use grigris priortize inattentiveness over lower impact forces on the belay and pro? I think not...I suspect they believe, especially since their own lives are on the line, that there is not enough difference between an ATC and a grigri to justify using an ATC...

If they believe there isn't a significant difference, then it's likely because they haven't seen the (many) real world tests that have shown the gri-gri generating 3 to 4 times the impact force of an atc. It's easy, in fact, with a gri gri to generate forces in a normal fall that can snap a 10kn wire. This will never happen with a normal belay device, not even in a factor 2 fall.

Why don't we ask a big wall climber and find if (and why) they use a gri gri?


paulraphael


Aug 24, 2004, 3:14 PM
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In reply to:
The answer to both questions is that with either device you have a dynamic belay. Also you will notice that the trend these days in belay device design like Reverso's is towards the device *locking up*, instead of allowing rope to flow unimpeded. If dynamism via rope slippage is so critical, we should just go back to waist belays and 3rd degree rope burns, huh?

Reversos and B-52s are totally different. they are autoBLOCKING .. their auto lock feature is designed only to catch the relatively static falls of the second. They are NEVER used in autoblock mode for belaying a leader. Please double check with Petzl and Trango before killing anyone with their products.

All normal belay devices reduce impact force by limiting the amount of braking force on the rope. Real world drop tests with static belays routinely result in broken gear (Chris Harmston, in an attempt to test ice screws with an 80kg weight and a static belay, once broke two carabiners and partially tore the hanger off of a screw with a single fall). A waist belay gives more slippage than is safe in a lot of cases. ATCs and the like are the carefully designed to give a good range of braking forces with most ropes and most belayers.

Think about it .. if what you're saying is true, it would be in Petzl's best interest to tell us to buy their $75 device for everything. But they don't. They warn you not to use them on trad and alpine routes, thereby eliminating a lot of potential customers. Why would they do that?


kalcario


Aug 24, 2004, 3:15 PM
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*If they believe there isn't a significant difference, then it's likely because they haven't seen the (many) real world tests that have shown the gri-gri generating 3 to 4 times the impact force of an atc. It's easy, in fact, with a gri gri to generate forces in a normal fall that can snap a 10kn wire.*

Petzl puts out a product that quadruples the impact force of a fall. Really.

So if I fall 10 feet my belayer feels 500 pounds of force, unless he's using a grigri, in which case he feels 2000.

Any sources for this?


sarcat


Aug 24, 2004, 3:56 PM
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I have one but have not used it for more than 3 years. Don't know why I hang on to it other than I have lots of gear I don't use but can't get rid of.


climb_plastic


Aug 24, 2004, 4:00 PM
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You can't get rid of it?


Partner iclimbtoo


Aug 24, 2004, 4:07 PM
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no i don't like them. Yes I've used one. A lot. I don't like them because i've seen them make people lazy belayers


benpullin


Aug 24, 2004, 4:14 PM
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Jay -- thanks for making me more closely examine my statement. After thinking about it, I couldn't come up with anything more than giving a hop at the belay, which, depending on the setup of the anchor, may or may not be possible, or safe.

I checked the Petzl website and I found that the gri-gri was developed for "indoor wall climbing or for climbing on well-protected sport routes where anchors meet UIAA standards." It is not intended for use in "mountaineering or adventure climbing."

This, in my mind, means two things. One, most of the Waterfall Wall is out (the anchors thing) and two, one needs to think twice about using the device for trad climbing. This is not so say that using a grigri to belay someone on one pitch trad routes will result in death, just that you are using a device beyond the scope of its intended use.

You learn something new every day...


kalcario


Aug 24, 2004, 4:22 PM
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*Why don't we ask a big wall climber and find if (and why) they use a gri gri?*

I know plenty of them, thank you, they being the source of the info I'm posting in this thread.

*Real world drop tests with static belays routinely result in broken gear *

But why would you statically belay a leader in the real world? The belayer always moves, the knot tightens, etc. You'd have to tie the leader off to a fixed, non-moving anchor to get a static belay.

*it would be in Petzl's best interest to tell us to buy their $75 device for everything. But they don't. They warn you not to use them on trad and alpine routes*

Nope, in neither their catalog nor in the literature that comes with the grigri do they say that, they say they are not to be used for "mountaineering or adventure climbing", which is quite a bit different from telling you not to use them for trad routes, many of which are just as well or better protected than sport climbs.

With an ATC, the impact force of a leader fall is mitigated by rope slippage; with a grigri, the belayer gets lifted. In fact your belayer gets lifted in a big fall anyway with either device. Either way you have a dynamic belay, and I'd rather trust a device that compensates for belayer error or incapacitation to a far greater degree than any other, which is the main selling point of a grigri.


davidji


Aug 24, 2004, 4:22 PM
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In reply to:
Also you will notice that the trend these days in belay device design like Reverso's is towards the device *locking up*, instead of allowing rope to flow unimpeded. If dynamism via rope slippage is so critical, we should just go back to waist belays and 3rd degree rope burns, huh?
I only use the autoblocking mode on my B52 for the follower (isn't that how most people use them?), so it isn't quite the same thing. I often use a hip-belay for the follower too. And I've even belayed a second with a garda knot (not recommended in general).

With the leader we need to choose more carefully. Grigris for people leading on gear? Not recommended by Petzl. Many of us do it. While I have done it, I don't do it often. Is it unsafe? If there's a lot of rock fall, you might make a case for it being safer than an ATC. If the gear is poor, it's probably less safe.


jumpingrock


Aug 24, 2004, 4:28 PM
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In reply to:
no i don't like them. Yes I've used one. A lot. I don't like them because i've seen them make people lazy belayers


alpnclmbr1


Aug 24, 2004, 5:08 PM
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In reply to:
*Why don't we ask a big wall climber and find if (and why) they use a gri gri?*

I know plenty of them, thank you, they being the source of the info I'm posting in this thread.

This is a silly assertion.

Most "valley" and/or "trad" climbers would laugh at you if you brought a grigri to a trad gear climb.

The grigri is the best sport climbing belay device ever made.

Anybody that tries to make a similiar claim about it in regards to trad climbs is delusional.


darth_gaydar


Aug 24, 2004, 5:10 PM
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I like it for TR soloing.


kalcario


Aug 24, 2004, 5:24 PM
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*This is a silly assertion.

Most "valley" and/or "trad" climbers would laugh at you if you brought a grigri to a trad gear climb.

The grigri is the best sport climbing belay device ever made.

Anybody that tries to make a similiar claim about it in regards to trad climbs is delusional. *

I have *forgotten* more trad climbing in Yosemite, than you will ever do.

Why, if the grigri is used for dicey aid on walls, would it not be good enough for A0 pro on free routes?


alpnclmbr1


Aug 24, 2004, 5:58 PM
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In reply to:
Most "valley" and/or "trad" climbers would laugh at you if you brought a grigri to a trad gear climb.

Would you agree that this is a fair statement or not? You know it is, and if you dance around this one then you are taking lessons in gwb speech.


In reply to:
I have *forgotten* more trad climbing in Yosemite, than you will ever do.

Considering that you stopped climbing climbing trad ten years ago, or more, that doesn't surprise me at all.


kalcario


Aug 24, 2004, 6:08 PM
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*Would you agree that this is a fair statement or not? You know it is, and if you dance around this one then you are taking lessons in gwb speech*

Of course it's stupid! You don't take a grigri to Snake Dike, because you don't want the extra weight, but to suppose that one increases risk when the pro is as excellent as it is in Yosemite is ill informed at best. You think cams are gonna rip out of Outer Limits because you're using a grigri?


alpnclmbr1


Aug 24, 2004, 6:21 PM
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You think cams are gonna rip out of Outer Limits because you're using a grigri?

No.

As far as I am concerned the bulk and weight are more of an issue then the increased impact forces. Needing to carry an additional rap device would be as well.


strangeday


Aug 24, 2004, 6:48 PM
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I have used them in the gym, and have just bought one for top rope use. I do however like the new trango cinch. very similar design and fewer moving parts, or so I have been told. The one problem that I think many people have with lead belaying with the grigri is that if you use 11mm rope, the feed is slow. A friend said that using a 10.2mm rope works better for lead. My main problem with them is, I want to know that my belayer can pay out as fast as I need, and not leave me pumped and cursing while they are fumbling with the device. Also, an tube slot type device has no moving parts, Is waaaay cheaper, and forces the belayer to pay attention with more care than I feel a grigri does.If you are going to be doing any rock climbing at all, where rope and belaying is involved, I feel that you should know how to use ALL kinds of belays (ATC, auto block, munter hitch, etc...)

On one other note, after a friend was finished on a top rope in josh, one that they had been using all day, when he opened the grigri up, there was dirt all up inside it. :shock: Someone had left it laying on the ground or something, but somehow it got full of dirt, and running your rope through that is like glueing sandpaper to your devices cam.....

Sooooo, in my opinion:

GriGri= top rope & gym, belaying the second or for cleaning or routesetting

for lead I will take my trango jaws, and a nice leather glove


paulraphael


Aug 25, 2004, 7:40 AM
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In reply to:
Nope, in neither their catalog nor in the literature that comes with the grigri do they say that, they say they are not to be used for "mountaineering or adventure climbing", which is quite a bit different from telling you not to use them for trad routes, many of which are just as well or better protected than sport climbs

actually "adventure climbing" is another term for "trad climbing." especially on the websites of euro companies.


elsinore


Aug 25, 2004, 6:42 PM
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I would agree that it is very much possible to give a dynamic belay using a gri-gri. In either of these situations a dynamic belay would be acheived by giving the climber a bit of a slack belay; meaning you would give them an arms length or half an arms lenght of slack. (Consideirng this is a safe alternative, and in a lot of situations is.)
But who wants to haul a gri-gri up a multi-pitch anyway? Unless its a sport route of course....


climb_plastic


Aug 25, 2004, 7:43 PM
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I'm pretty sure that giving slack makes it worse. More slack = longer fall = more shock.

The dynamic belay is when you make a catch dynamically (in motion) so that it doesn't shock the system as much. The belayer can do that simply by relaxing and not tensing up so much when the climber falls making the catch softly and allowing yourself to get pulled up rather than fighting the upward pull. You can do that with both the gri-gri or the atc.


sarcat


Aug 26, 2004, 6:38 AM
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You can't get rid of it?

As in I still want to hang on to it.


paulraphael


Aug 26, 2004, 7:39 AM
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I would agree that it is very much possible to give a dynamic belay using a gri-gri. In either of these situations a dynamic belay would be acheived by giving the climber a bit of a slack belay; meaning you would give them an arms length or half an arms lenght of slack. (Consideirng this is a safe alternative, and in a lot of situations is.)
But who wants to haul a gri-gri up a multi-pitch anyway? Unless its a sport route of course....

You're describing a way to create a longer, but equally static fall.
Anyone doing this needs to hit the physics textbooks before someone hits the deck.


moondog


Aug 26, 2004, 8:03 AM
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In reply to:
You're describing a way to create a longer, but equally static fall.
Anyone doing this needs to hit the physics textbooks before someone hits the deck.

Amen. Funny how this kinda stuff gets around. I went climbing with a guy last year who was taught by his friends to do this (maintain unnecessary slack) to create a "dynamic" belay. I asked him what the reasoning was and he couldn't give an answer. Seems some folks tend to accept uncritically what (self-declared) "more experienced" climbers tell them. Dangerous habit.


kalcario


Aug 26, 2004, 8:43 AM
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*Amen. Funny how this kinda stuff gets around. I went climbing with a guy last year who was taught by his friends to do this (maintain unnecessary slack) to create a "dynamic" belay. I asked him what the reasoning was and he couldn't give an answer. Seems some folks tend to accept uncritically what (self-declared) "more experienced" climbers tell them. Dangerous habit.*

It depends on the situation, sometimes it is safer to belay with more slack. When it's overhanging, you belay with a little more slack to avoid swinging back into the wall - given, of course, you're far enough off the deck that you're not gonna hit the ground. The really dangerous habit is to pull in rope when he's falling, or have no slack at all (unless, of course, he's in danger of hitting the ground). Each situation has to be judged differently, and to accept uncritically the blanket assertion that belaying with extra slack is a "dangerous habit" isn't real smart either.


paulraphael


Aug 26, 2004, 8:51 AM
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In reply to:
Amen. Funny how this kinda stuff gets around. I went climbing with a guy last year who was taught by his friends to do this (maintain unnecessary slack) to create a "dynamic" belay. I asked him what the reasoning was and he couldn't give an answer. Seems some folks tend to accept uncritically what (self-declared) "more experienced" climbers tell them. Dangerous habit.

I've also seen someone teaching a belayer to take up slack during a fall and to drop their bodyweight onto the rope to create a "dynamic" belay. This might be a good technique when the climber's in danger of decking, but it's the oposite of adding dynamics.

Your point about about accepting any advice uncritically needs to be repeated. even if the self-declared experienced climber IS experienced, you don't know if their long experience is the product of knowing what they're doing or just chance.

I survived my first many years of climbing the old fashioned way: dumb luck. I don't recommend this approach to anyone. I've learned more about climbing safely in the last couple of years than i did in the previous ten, simply because I finally realized everything i knew was out of date, unresearched, and based on mimicking friends who themselves didn't know anything. The good news is that now there are so many good sources of good information. Places like this can be a starting point, at least to get pointed in the direction of solid sources. No one should trust me or anyone else here on how to use a gri gri, or how not to ... but I would hope some arguments that come out of this that get people confirming ideas for themselves with solid sources: manufacturer's data, test results conducted by engineers, the amga, the uiaa, and rescue organizations, and on top of that, field experience of people you trust.


elsinore


Aug 26, 2004, 8:59 AM
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When giving a slack belay, you obviously need to be paying attention (reguardless of your knowledge of physics) to your partner with respect to how far they are off of ledges or the deck, this is why in my previous post I mentioned it is not always a safe alternative. I think the idea of allowing a little bit more slack in the system is that you will have more rope out to absorb the shock, meanig you will have more rope in the system, thus more strech of the rope. I suppose you could argue that falling that much further creates more force anyway.... But in my experience this technique has always provided safe, soft catches. Im not exactly talking about giving people an extra 15 feet of slack...usually an additional arms length of slack will give you another 5 ft. or so when you fall...The biggest advantage of being caught with this type of a belay is that you are much less apt to pendulum directly into the rock, smashing your heels, ankels or knees.


paulraphael


Aug 26, 2004, 9:03 AM
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In reply to:
I think the idea of allowing a little bit more slack in the system is that you will have more rope out to absorb the shock, meanig you will have more rope in the system, thus more strech of the rope. I suppose you could argue that falling that much further creates more force anyway.... But in my experience this technique has always provided safe, soft catches. Im not exactly talking about giving people an extra 15 feet of slack...usually an additional arms length of slack will give you another 5 ft. or so when you fall...The biggest advantage of being caught with this type of a belay is that you are much less apt to pendulum directly into the rock, smashing your heels, ankels or knees.


paulraphael


Aug 26, 2004, 9:10 AM
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In reply to:
I think the idea of allowing a little bit more slack in the system is that you will have more rope out to absorb the shock, meanig you will have more rope in the system, thus more strech of the rope. I suppose you could argue that falling that much further creates more force anyway.... But in my experience this technique has always provided safe, soft catches. Im not exactly talking about giving people an extra 15 feet of slack...usually an additional arms length of slack will give you another 5 ft. or so when you fall...The biggest advantage of being caught with this type of a belay is that you are much less apt to pendulum directly into the rock, smashing your heels, ankels or knees.

Sorry, but this is a complete and dangerous misunderstanding of how to protect a leader from penduluming into the rock. A slack belay increases the fall distance in proportion to the amount of extra rope out, so the fall factor, and also the impact forces, stay the same. So you let your leader fall farther, with absolutely no benefit in terms of reducing impact forces or slowing a swing.

The correct way to deal with this situation is to have as little slack in the system as possible (which is always the case) and to provide a true dynamic belay. This can be done by jumping at the moment of impact (if you're on a long enough leash and don't have a roof over your head) or by allowing a couple of feet of rope to slip through your belay device (which is providing friction all the while, and is therefore softening the catch). Both techniques require some practice. Most people find jumping easier to pull off than controlling rope slippage. But both have their place.


moondog


Aug 26, 2004, 9:17 AM
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Sorry, i did not mean to give the impression that extra slack is not a good technique for certain situations. The "dangerous habit" bit was meant to refer to uncritical acceptance of advice, not belay technique (though the writing could have been clearer).

The guy I referred to in my previous post had taken up the habit of always feeding unnecessary slack in order to give a "dynamic belay". His explanation had something to do with more rope out = more stretch = softer catch or something (memory hazy on his exact theory, but that's the rough version).


Partner cracklover


Aug 26, 2004, 9:28 AM
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In reply to:
Why, if the grigri is used for dicey aid on walls, would it not be good enough for A0 pro on free routes?

This question has been adequately answered already.

In reply to:
*Would you agree that this is a fair statement or not? You know it is, and if you dance around this one then you are taking lessons in gwb speech*

Of course it's stupid! You don't take a grigri to Snake Dike, because you don't want the extra weight, but to suppose that one increases risk when the pro is as excellent as it is in Yosemite is ill informed at best. You think cams are gonna rip out of Outer Limits because you're using a grigri?

Snake Dike? That's hardly a fair example, given how much is bolt protected. And I haven't done Outer Limits, but for the sake of this conversation, big splitter cracks like that, and those at IC may as well be considered sport climbs, for all the questions about hard falls on poor gear.

So instead, how about a typical day of trad climbing at any of the areas with crack protected face climbs, like the Gunks, Cannon, Cathedral, LCC, and even parts of J-Tree or Yosemite. Many of the climbs at these areas will require gear placements like small Aliens, Lowe Balls, and RPs. All perfect good gear when well placed, but capable of failing at relatively low loads. Hell, a big copperhead may be more bomber than some of these "trad" pieces. No question that screamers have their place on these climbs, but so do dynamic belay devices. So that speaks for crack-protected face climbs. Now the same arguement holds true in places with varied rock quality, or with very thin cracks. In fact... most trad climbing areas.

GO


davidji


Aug 26, 2004, 9:53 AM
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In reply to:
A slack belay increases the fall distance in proportion to the amount of extra rope out,
True.

In reply to:
so the fall factor, and also the impact forces, stay the same.
That's only true in the fall factor=1 case. If the ff would be higher (without the extra slack), than the extra slack will decrease it. If it would be lower, than the extra slack will increase it.

I'd leave the math as an exercise for the reader, but I have a feeling people will just argue without actually doing it, so I provided a little math below.

David


The math:
Low FF case: climber is 30m high, 30m or rope is out, and he's 10m above his last pro. He falls 20m on 30m of rope for a ff of 20m/30m=.67.

Now lets add 5m slack. I realize that's an absurd amount, but it illustrates the trend. So the climber is still 30m up, 10m past his last pro, but with 35m rope out. So he falls 25m on 35m rope, for a ff of 25m/35m=.71. So the fall factor increased due to the extra slack.

High ff case:
Climber is 10m above the belay, 10m of rope out, falls 20m on 10m of rope for a factor 2 fall.

Now lets add 5m slack. Climber falls 25m on 15m rope for a ff of 25m/15m=1.7, and a decrease in forces (unless the climber hits something in those 5 extra meters).


Partner cracklover


Aug 26, 2004, 10:46 AM
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Davidji: you're right about the FF slightly increasing/decreasing. That's (mostly) a moot point though, as the relative change in FF is generally very small. What's *not* a moot point though, is that just leaving extra slack in the system does not work to either provide a softer catch or to prevent a hard swing into the wall. To do these things you need to do the technique correctly. The basic idea of how to provide a dynamic belay (as explained earlier in the thread) is to jump or let some rope move through the device in a controlled manner just as the force comes onto the device.

I won't try to add anything to these basic descriptions, because, frankly, I'm not all that good at it. It requires practice to do well. But I will add that clearly one of the two techniques is not safe to do with a gri-gri (letting rope slip), and the other technique (jumping) is not always possible on a multi-pitch climb.

GO


elsinore


Aug 26, 2004, 10:46 AM
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Re: pro or con gri gri? [In reply to]
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Sorry, but this is a complete and dangerous misunderstanding of how to protect a leader from penduluming into the rock.
The correct way to deal with this situation is to have as little slack in the system as possible (which is always the case) and to provide a true dynamic belay.

There is a good chance I am just not doing an excelent job of explaining this technique.. but Giving slack in some situations is absolutly helpful and by no means a complete and dangerous misunderstanding of protecting the leader. Again, you obviously do not want tons of slack payed out to whoever is climbing, and I agree that jumping is an excelent way of providing a dynamic belay and preventing a pendulum. But, by giving a bit of slack you will prevent a pendilum. It seems to me that whenever I climb with an inexpereinced belayer 9 out of 10 times I am being smashed into the rock duing a lead fall beaucse there is 0 slack in the system, this is particularly evident in a short fall situation, like when you take a fall with the pro at you knees. Also on any type of steep terrein (which is what im climbing most of the time). In general this techniqe should be designated to vertical and overhanging sport routes where the slack will not effect the climber from nailing something like a feature or the deck during the fall, which is what I was refering to. I most likely did not state this in my last post, sorry. I certianly dont reccomend this type of belay for less than vertical gear routes, or any situation where you cannot see the climber from the belay, or anything else other than steep or vertical sport routes... Really, Im not a bumbly droping folks left and right.... Im just sick of getting terrible catches.


davidji


Aug 26, 2004, 10:49 AM
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In reply to:
Davidji: you're right about the FF slightly increasing/decreasing. That's (mostly) a moot point though, as the relative change in FF is generally very small.
I agree that it isn't a great way to change FF. I was just taking issue with the math, not chiming in on the how-to-do-a-dynamic-belay topic. While the 1.7ff fall in the last example is much better than the 2.0, that doesn't seem like the most practical way to reduce falling forces. Especially when you consider that most of the time it will increase falling forces.


jt512


Aug 26, 2004, 10:55 AM
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In reply to:
I think the idea of allowing a little bit more slack in the system is that you will have more rope out to absorb the shock, meanig you will have more rope in the system, thus more strech of the rope. I suppose you could argue that falling that much further creates more force anyway.... But in my experience this technique has always provided safe, soft catches. Im not exactly talking about giving people an extra 15 feet of slack...usually an additional arms length of slack will give you another 5 ft. or so when you fall...The biggest advantage of being caught with this type of a belay is that you are much less apt to pendulum directly into the rock, smashing your heels, ankels or knees.

Sorry, but this is a complete and dangerous misunderstanding of how to protect a leader from penduluming into the rock. A slack belay increases the fall distance in proportion to the amount of extra rope out, so the fall factor, and also the impact forces, stay the same. So you let your leader fall farther, with absolutely no benefit in terms of reducing impact forces or slowing a swing.

First of all, adding slack does not keep the fall factor constant; it moves the fall factor closer to 1. For a typical, less-than-factor-1 fall, adding slack increases the fall factor. Nonetheless, slack usually reduces the swing into the wall. If the route is overhanging, slack puts the climber further away from the wall. Additionally, even if the route is vertical, you tend to fall away from the wall. If there is insufficient slack in the rope, you come onto tension early in the fall, and you get pulled into the wall in an arc with a small radius, resulting in a hard hit. Having a few feet of slack in the rope keeps this from happening. Like everyone has said, you also have to take the terrain into account; sometimes the terrain dictates that you keep as little slack in the rope as possible.

In reply to:
The correct way to deal with this situation is to have as little slack in the system as possible (which is always the case) and to provide a true dynamic belay. This can be done by jumping at the moment of impact (if you're on a long enough leash and don't have a roof over your head) or by allowing a couple of feet of rope to slip through your belay device (which is providing friction all the while, and is therefore softening the catch). Both techniques require some practice. Most people find jumping easier to pull off than controlling rope slippage. But both have their place.

Dynamic belaying is important, but when the landing zone is obstacle free and the route is not a slab, slack is important, too. In fact, there are situations in which slack is more important than dynamic belaying. For instance, when the leader has clipped pro above a bulge and climbed past the pro. In this case, the belayer must keep enough slack in the rope so that he drops the leader into clean air below the bulge. Otherwise, the leader better have good dental insurance.

Another example is when the leader has climbed above a bulge, but his last pro is beneath the bulge. Here, if insufficient slack is in the system, you have an exaggerated version of the situation I described in my first paragraph. The leader will be pulled into the wall with fearsome angular momentum.

-Jay


alpnclmbr1


Aug 26, 2004, 11:06 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
I think the idea of allowing a little bit more slack in the system is that you will have more rope out to absorb the shock, meanig you will have more rope in the system, thus more strech of the rope. I suppose you could argue that falling that much further creates more force anyway.... But in my experience this technique has always provided safe, soft catches. Im not exactly talking about giving people an extra 15 feet of slack...usually an additional arms length of slack will give you another 5 ft. or so when you fall...The biggest advantage of being caught with this type of a belay is that you are much less apt to pendulum directly into the rock, smashing your heels, ankels or knees.

Sorry, but this is a complete and dangerous misunderstanding of how to protect a leader from penduluming into the rock. A slack belay increases the fall distance in proportion to the amount of extra rope out, so the fall factor, and also the impact forces, stay the same. So you let your leader fall farther, with absolutely no benefit in terms of reducing impact forces or slowing a swing.

The correct way to deal with this situation is to have as little slack in the system as possible (which is always the case) and to provide a true dynamic belay. This can be done by jumping at the moment of impact (if you're on a long enough leash and don't have a roof over your head) or by allowing a couple of feet of rope to slip through your belay device (which is providing friction all the while, and is therefore softening the catch). Both techniques require some practice. Most people find jumping easier to pull off than controlling rope slippage. But both have their place.

I have to pretty much go with elsinore on this one. On steep climbs where swinging into the wall is a concern. You do want to keep some slack in the system, and then, you do want to do a dynamic belay.

The initial drop(freefall) allows you to clear more room for the swing, ie the lower the climber is, the farther away from the rock when you start the dynamic catch/swing.

If there is absolutely no slack in the system, your dynamic jump is not going to go anywhere, and the falling climber is going to crater.

If the leader is ten feet above a bolt, slack becomes less of an issue.


climb_plastic


Aug 26, 2004, 11:47 AM
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On steep climbs where swinging into the wall is a concern. You do want to keep some slack in the system, and then, you do want to do a dynamic belay...

Exactly... The slack is to reduce the pendulum effect on an overhang and the dynamic belay is to reduce the shock that the extra slack would put on the system.


outdoorclimber


Aug 26, 2004, 4:21 PM
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For all y'all who say it's impossible to give a dynamic belay, I have one sentence. The ropes are dynamic ropes, so there will ALWAYS, with dynamic ropes, have some type of dynamic belay attached to the belay.


killclimbz


Aug 26, 2004, 4:57 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
On steep climbs where swinging into the wall is a concern. You do want to keep some slack in the system, and then, you do want to do a dynamic belay...

Exactly... The slack is to reduce the pendulum effect on an overhang and the dynamic belay is to reduce the shock that the extra slack would put on the system.

How much extra slack are you talking about? A small loop in the rope is all that is needed. It's not going to be a serious increase of forces. As stated before the rope dynamic. Are you using a static line? Where the hell do you get your information?


climb_plastic


Aug 26, 2004, 6:03 PM
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Good point. Most of the time a dynamic belay isn't absolutely necessary because the fall won't generate enough shock to break the system....and some conditions you shouldn't even do a dynamic belay. It's just nice to do it whenever you can for the sake of the climber's balls.


jt512


Aug 26, 2004, 8:18 PM
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Good point. Most of the time a dynamic belay isn't absolutely necessary because the fall won't generate enough shock to break the system....and some conditions you shouldn't even do a dynamic belay. It's just nice to do it whenever you can for the sake of the climber's balls.

Depends what you mean by "the system." If the system includes the climbers ankles, and the route is steep, then a dynamic belay is needed.

-Jay


kalcario


Aug 26, 2004, 9:24 PM
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*Sorry, but this is a complete and dangerous misunderstanding of how to protect a leader from penduluming into the rock. A slack belay increases the fall distance in proportion to the amount of extra rope out, so the fall factor, and also the impact forces, stay the same. So you let your leader fall farther, with absolutely no benefit in terms of reducing impact forces or slowing a swing.*

No. When it's overhanging, the farther you fall, the farther away the wall is at the end of the fall. The only thing that's going to pull you into the wall is if the rope's tight, which creates the pendulum effect, and which also means you fall a shorter distance and the wall is closer. This is not theory - this is what I do most weekends, either taking that fall myself or belaying it. If I was wrong in feeding out or having extra slack I would have broken my own and other's bones many times over, and my 30 year safety record is spotless. I think maybe you don't climb or belay on steep stuff (30 degrees past vert, 90 being vert) very much, no?

Of course, this whole equation changes when you're still close enough to the ground where extra slack might cause a groundfall, but usually once you're past 35' it doesn't matter.


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