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Multiple ways to rappel with a Grigir ?
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jordan.gordon


May 20, 2014, 9:18 PM
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Multiple ways to rappel with a Grigir ?
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Important points
- I don't rappel. My lead climber belays me down and then does his own rappelling.
- I've read a long thread about the pros and cons of belaying with a Grigri. After weighing the pros and cons, I'm pretty sure an ATC with a Presik is what I'll train with, when I'm ready.

THAT BEING SAID...

I don't understand why the grigri documentation says to rappel like it does. The the attached diagram with their system.

Then see my proposed system in attached images: me rappelling from my cat tower with a sling harness for simplicity.

The grigri official system could result in my death if I belay from the wrong side of the rope. It also requires a BFK to not pass through the loop, which is another layer of complexity.

Meanwhile, my proposed system - which is basically reversing my belay with me as the belayer - has only one dangling rope end, so I can't chose an end that results in automatically falling to my death.


There's probably a logical reason for their system, but I don't know what it is. Does anyone?



Jordan
Attachments: rappel with grigri.jpg (12.1 KB)
  cat_rappelling.jpg (91.2 KB)
  rap_cat_2.jpg (88.5 KB)


JimTitt


May 21, 2014, 12:17 AM
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Re: [jordan.gordon] Multiple ways to rappel with a Grigir ? [In reply to]
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jordan.gordon wrote:
Important points
- I don't rappel. My lead climber belays me down and then does his own rappelling.
- I've read a long thread about the pros and cons of belaying with a Grigri. After weighing the pros and cons, I'm pretty sure an ATC with a Presik is what I'll train with, when I'm ready.

THAT BEING SAID...

I don't understand why the grigri documentation says to rappel like it does. The the attached diagram with their system.

Then see my proposed system in attached images: me rappelling from my cat tower with a sling harness for simplicity.

The grigri official system could result in my death if I belay from the wrong side of the rope. It also requires a BFK to not pass through the loop, which is another layer of complexity.

Meanwhile, my proposed system - which is basically reversing my belay with me as the belayer - has only one dangling rope end, so I can't chose an end that results in automatically falling to my death.


There's probably a logical reason for their system, but I don't know what it is. Does anyone?



Jordan

Depends if you donīt care about wear on your rope and more importantly on the rap ring. They were installed to be rapped from not worn out by people lowering but if you donīt mind contributing to their replacament then thatīs fine.
If there isnīt a ring and you are bailing from a sling then your method is death.
Otherwise both work fine.


patto


May 21, 2014, 7:05 AM
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Re: [jordan.gordon] Multiple ways to rappel with a Grigir ? [In reply to]
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You also have to let twice as much rope out through the device.

There really is no clear advantage. Quite a few minor disadvantages and a few rare major ones.

(It is entirely feasible that that the rope could get wedged in a crack or even pinned by the weight on the other side. This would be a quite a challenging self rescue situation.)


Clipping the wrong end of the rope is an entirely manageable risk. Do it right. Check that it is right. Weight the system before removing you safety.


dagibbs


May 21, 2014, 7:43 AM
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Re: [jordan.gordon] Multiple ways to rappel with a Grigir ? [In reply to]
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jordan.gordon wrote:
Important points
- I don't rappel. My lead climber belays me down and then does his own rappelling.
- I've read a long thread about the pros and cons of belaying with a Grigri. After weighing the pros and cons, I'm pretty sure an ATC with a Presik is what I'll train with, when I'm ready.

THAT BEING SAID...

I don't understand why the grigri documentation says to rappel like it does. The the attached diagram with their system.

Then see my proposed system in attached images: me rappelling from my cat tower with a sling harness for simplicity.

The grigri official system could result in my death if I belay from the wrong side of the rope. It also requires a BFK to not pass through the loop, which is another layer of complexity.

Meanwhile, my proposed system - which is basically reversing my belay with me as the belayer - has only one dangling rope end, so I can't chose an end that results in automatically falling to my death.


There's probably a logical reason for their system, but I don't know what it is. Does anyone?



Jordan

On your second point, I assume where you said "belaying with a Grigri" you meant "rappelling with a Grigri" because belaying with an ATC and Prussik isn't done.

The main difference between the suggested method from Petzl and your method is that in the suggested method the rope isn't moving, and in your method, the rope is moving. If the rope is through a sling, this could be fatal; if through rings, or around a tree, this could and would damage the tree/slings, and may result in you not actually being able to go somewhere because of friction in the system.

And, what have you done with the long end of the rope? Have you dropped 60m of it down from the anchor? Or have you left it sitting up by the anchor? So, in either case, what happens if you're 30 feet into the rap, and the long end of the rope gets tangled up in something? (A tree, a crack, a gully, a knob or rock, etc.) You can't just rap-down to the tangle and fix it (if below you), because you can't get any more rope to rap with.

Also, with your method, if you have multiple people to rap, this means after each rappel you would have to pull all the rope back up to the rap station before the next person rappels down. Very time consuming.

You also said:
In reply to:
It also requires a BFK to not pass through the loop, which is another layer of complexity.

Assuming BFK means Big Fucking Knot, the biner clipped from the knot to the rap side of the rope prevents the knot from passing through the rap rings or anchor or whatever you are rapping from.

So, there are lots of reasons that the Petzl suggested method is a better choice than your idea.

Even so, a Grigri is not usually a good choice for rappel, there are disadvantages to the Petzl system, and the main one is not the one you express -- rappelling on the wrong strand -- but in the greater likelihood of the rope not pulling cleanly due to pulling a rope with a biner attached, and the greater chance of catching your rope on something with the biner attached than without. You're generally far better rappelling with an ATC style (tuber) device or dedicated rappel device than with a Grigri -- that is, with something where you are passing both strands through the device. (If rappelling a single, fixed, rope that will be left behind, then a Grigri is fine for this.)

It is, also, a good idea to be able to rappel cleanly, smoothly, and in control without using/needing a friction knot (e.g. Prussik).


jordan.gordon


May 21, 2014, 10:15 AM
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Re: [dagibbs] Multiple ways to rappel with a Grigir ? [In reply to]
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Thank you all for your replies.

1) yes, I did mean "I've read a long thread about the pros and cons of rappelling with a Grigri

2) This further confirms that wear on the rope is a problem, and I see also that getting the rope stuck mid-rap is a huge risk.

3) I'd like to confirm: rope-on-sling friction will result in sling breakage and possible death. Correct?

4) I'd also like to confirm: rappelling rings (and even bolted sport chains) become damaged from rope friction and may actually break mid rap resulting in possible death. Correct?

5) Dagibbs: you suggest I rappel WITHOUT a presik. Right now I don't rappel at all, my lead climber does, so this is theoretical. That said I wasn't intending on using a system that would let me fall if I star fished for any reason.

I realize the chances are very small that a cougar leaps out mid cliff and breaks my right hand with it's monster jaw... but still, what is the benefit to not having a backup. Especially as a junior climber? No sarcasm. I really want to have the best climbing experience possible.


Jordan


dagibbs


May 21, 2014, 10:42 AM
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Re: [jordan.gordon] Multiple ways to rappel with a Grigir ? [In reply to]
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jordan.gordon wrote:
Thank you all for your replies.


3) I'd like to confirm: rope-on-sling friction will result in sling breakage and possible death. Correct?

It is not guaranteed to do so, but there is a high risk of doing so.

In reply to:
4) I'd also like to confirm: rappelling rings (and even bolted sport chains) become damaged from rope friction and may actually break mid rap resulting in possible death. Correct?

Here it isn't the issue of breaking in mid-rap, that is unlikely. It is that the cumulative wear over time of many people doing this will result in wear and damage to emplaced gear that someone has paid for, and someone else will eventually have to replace. Generally it is obvious that a lot of wear has happened to rings/chains when setting up a rap, and if they are anywhere close to breaking, can be replaced.

In reply to:
5) Dagibbs: you suggest I rappel WITHOUT a presik. Right now I don't rappel at all, my lead climber does, so this is theoretical. That said I wasn't intending on using a system that would let me fall if I star fished for any reason.

I recommended that you be able to (that is, learn to) rappel without a Prusik (or other friction knot) back up. You should have proper rappel technique, including knowing how to go hands-free, without using a Prusik knot. While learning, if you are worried, a more experienced climber can provide a fireman's belay for you.


In reply to:
I realize the chances are very small that a cougar leaps out mid cliff and breaks my right hand with it's monster jaw... but still, what is the benefit to not having a backup. Especially as a junior climber? No sarcasm. I really want to have the best climbing experience possible.

Jordan

You may not have a Prusik cord with you -- I have, for example, sacrificed my Prusik cord as the anchor (around a tree) for the escape rappel part way up a climb when it started to pour rain.

Also, there are times when you may be in a hurry and you can generally rappel more quickly without a Prusik than with one. e.g. having to get down off a multi-pitch climb when a storm comes in.

Also, a rappel done without a backup can generally be done more smoothly -- backed up rappels are often jerky. If rappelling off a sketchy or thin anchor (small tree, rope looped over a horn, etc) it is important to rappel as smoothly as possible.

These tend to be outlier conditions, and tend to come up more as one gets into multi-pitch trad climbs and alpine climbing, and the descents or escapes from those. But, learning proper technique up front means you don't have to re-learn, or un-learn stuff if you do get into that situation. And, that when it matters, you are experienced at doing it.


I think it is important to know how to rappel with, and without a friction knot back up. To know when it is a good choice to use it, and when it isn't needed, or when it is disadvantageous. How to go hands-free with, and without the friction knot. And, how to rappel without a device, too.


JimTitt


May 21, 2014, 11:43 AM
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About sums it up. A Prussik/autobloc is a backup to correct technique, not a replacement. I use one sometimes and othertimes not, itīs a judgement thing. With a GriGri (which I use a lot rap-bolting routes) I never use a backup and canīt imagine why Iīd want to.


majid_sabet


May 21, 2014, 11:45 AM
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Re: [jordan.gordon] Multiple ways to rappel with a Grigir ? [In reply to]
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911 Your location ?

East of jackass ledge 3rd pitch

What is the issue ?

yaa well we were climbing and somehow our rope got stuck and we only had one rope, its getting dark and cold.......


edit to add


never ever rap with the entire rope running thru rap rig (as shown on 2ed image) this methods can damage rope on over hanging ledges and or kill you.


(This post was edited by majid_sabet on May 21, 2014, 11:50 AM)


patto


May 21, 2014, 3:32 PM
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Re: [jordan.gordon] Multiple ways to rappel with a Grigir ? [In reply to]
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jordan.gordon wrote:
5) Dagibbs: you suggest I rappel WITHOUT a presik. Right now I don't rappel at all, my lead climber does, so this is theoretical. That said I wasn't intending on using a system that would let me fall if I star fished for any reason.

Prussiks are over used and not often not used correctly. Using or not using one is up to you. But too often, as in >50% of the time I see it done incorrectly.

If you are going to use one DO NOT use a leg loop attachment. Doing this means that there is a good chance your prussik is going to fail precisely when you need it most.

If you use a prussik, extend your belay device as shown in the petzl catalog.


potreroed


May 21, 2014, 7:47 PM
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Re: [jordan.gordon] Multiple ways to rappel with a Grigir ? [In reply to]
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Where the gri-gri really shines is when simul-rapping with your partner.


Gmburns2000


May 22, 2014, 3:21 AM
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JimTitt wrote:
About sums it up. A Prussik/autobloc is a backup to correct technique, not a replacement. I use one sometimes and othertimes not, itīs a judgement thing. With a GriGri (which I use a lot rap-bolting routes) I never use a backup and canīt imagine why Iīd want to.

I've actually had the grigri slip on me while hanging on it while setting routes. One one occasion I was just stupid and the rope got stuck in the handle when I wasn't paying close enough attention. On another occasion I don't know why it slipped because nothing interfered with the device.

I didn't need a knot tied below in both instances because the situation corrected itself before I got that far down, but both were quite a shock in the moment and I was glad the knots were there.

But I also never use a back-up while rapping with a grigri. This is mostly because there's no need when I'm completely focused on that one action.


dagibbs


May 22, 2014, 7:30 AM
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Re: [potreroed] Multiple ways to rappel with a Grigir ? [In reply to]
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potreroed wrote:
Where the gri-gri really shines is when simul-rapping with your partner.

Simul-rapping is an advanced technique, and not really something that I think should be advocated to, or even suggested-to beginners. Discussion of it, except to recommend avoidance, probably doesn't belong in a "Beginners" forum.


marc801


May 22, 2014, 11:55 AM
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dagibbs wrote:
potreroed wrote:
Where the gri-gri really shines is when simul-rapping with your partner.

Simul-rapping is an advanced technique, and not really something that I think should be advocated to, or even suggested-to beginners. Discussion of it, except to recommend avoidance, probably doesn't belong in a "Beginners" forum.
+1


Whitewalls


May 22, 2014, 2:03 PM
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http://climbing.about.com/od/climbingknots/ss/HowTieAutoblock_5.htm

I disagree about not attaching the Prusik to your leg loop, as I'm sure do many others. As long as your cord isn't too long it won't jam against your belay device.If you are worried about that happening, extend your device with a quickdraw.

Normal practice in the UK, and I would never ever abseil without one. Yes it is a bak up, but I'd rather hang uncomfortably from my leg than deck out!


dagibbs


May 22, 2014, 2:40 PM
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Whitewalls wrote:
http://climbing.about.com/od/climbingknots/ss/HowTieAutoblock_5.htm

I disagree about not attaching the Prusik to your leg loop, as I'm sure do many others. As long as your cord isn't too long it won't jam against your belay device.If you are worried about that happening, extend your device with a quickdraw.

Extending your device can be a good idea (though, it can have some disadvantages as well), but I would strongly recommend that it not be done with a quick-draw, especially not as a beginner. The attachment of the rappel device to the harness should be with a locking biner or biners. A girth-hitched sling & locking biner combination, or PAS & locking biner combination would both be better choices than a quick-draw.


Whitewalls


May 22, 2014, 2:48 PM
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Fair point. Safer with locking biners.


dac33


May 27, 2014, 10:35 AM
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Re: [potreroed] Multiple ways to rappel with a Grigir ? [In reply to]
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potreroed wrote:
Where the gri-gri really shines is when simul-rapping with your partner.

I'm not sure about that. Many people don't rap with a backup with a grigri. If one person messes up on a simul rap (e.g.threads the grigri around the wrong way) and there is no backup everyone is dead. (I'm assuming by simul rap we talking one climber on each rope.)


heidt410


May 27, 2014, 12:20 PM
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Re: [jordan.gordon] Multiple ways to rappel with a Grigir ? [In reply to]
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Bottom line in all this is that the Grigri is not a good device to rappell with. As mentioned the only advantage is simul rappelling which comes with many other risks or sport rappels... but an ATC is lighter anyway so:

Buy an ATC. When rappelling single pitch routes, have your partner give you a firemans. On multi rappels use a prusik.


potreroed


May 27, 2014, 1:20 PM
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dac33 wrote:
potreroed wrote:
Where the gri-gri really shines is when simul-rapping with your partner.

I'm not sure about that. Many people don't rap with a backup with a grigri. If one person messes up on a simul rap (e.g.threads the grigri around the wrong way) and there is no backup everyone is dead. (I'm assuming by simul rap we talking one climber on each rope.)

As with any rappel you don't unclip and start down until everything has been checked and double checked and triple checked.


Partner cracklover


May 29, 2014, 1:41 PM
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jordan.gordon wrote:
Important points
- I don't rappel. My lead climber belays me down and then does his own rappelling.
- I've read a long thread about the pros and cons of belaying with a Grigri. After weighing the pros and cons, I'm pretty sure an ATC with a Presik is what I'll train with, when I'm ready.

THAT BEING SAID...

I don't understand why the grigri documentation says to rappel like it does. The the attached diagram with their system.

Then see my proposed system in attached images: me rappelling from my cat tower with a sling harness for simplicity.

The grigri official system could result in my death if I belay from the wrong side of the rope. It also requires a BFK to not pass through the loop, which is another layer of complexity.

Meanwhile, my proposed system - which is basically reversing my belay with me as the belayer - has only one dangling rope end, so I can't chose an end that results in automatically falling to my death.


There's probably a logical reason for their system, but I don't know what it is. Does anyone?



Jordan

Let me spell it out for you simply:

In one method, you are being lowered, in the other method, you are rappelling. It just so happens that in this lowering method the person being lowered is the same as person doing the lowering, but that doesn't make it a rappel.

There are many many reasons why lowering is better in some cases, and rappelling is better in other cases. When you are in one of those cases, you need to do the appropriate thing, because to do the other would be much worse (sometimes fatal, sometimes a dick move, sometimes will screw up your rope, sometimes will get your rope stuck, etc etc etc).

Learn when you should lower, when you should rap, and why, and then stick to that.

The device you choose to use (gri-gri, atc, or many others) doesn't really matter, as long as you are competent with it.

It's pretty much that simple.

GO


marc801


May 29, 2014, 2:48 PM
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jordan.gordon wrote:
Important points
- I don't rappel. My lead climber belays me down and then does his own rappelling.
- I've read a long thread about the pros and cons of belaying with a Grigri. After weighing the pros and cons, I'm pretty sure an ATC with a Presik is what I'll train with, when I'm ready.

THAT BEING SAID...

I don't understand why the grigri documentation says to rappel like it does. The the attached diagram with their system.

Then see my proposed system in attached images: me rappelling from my cat tower with a sling harness for simplicity.

The grigri official system could result in my death if I belay from the wrong side of the rope. It also requires a BFK to not pass through the loop, which is another layer of complexity.

Meanwhile, my proposed system - which is basically reversing my belay with me as the belayer - has only one dangling rope end, so I can't chose an end that results in automatically falling to my death.


There's probably a logical reason for their system, but I don't know what it is. Does anyone?
This also deserves mention....

Stop.
You don't know anywhere near enough to be proposing your own "system".
Ask questions and seek clarification, sure. But if you really don't understand what is in the incredibly clear Petzl documentation, you have no business even remotely coming up with your own techniques.


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