Best auto-blocker I've used yet
Review by: Valarc, 2007-07-10
I've been trying out a lot of different auto-blockers, and having trouble finding one that has rope handling characteristics that appeal to me. I found the reverso to be lacking in friction, and the ATC guide to have far too much friction, to the point that it binds up on thick ropes. The simond toucan had similar problems, with the rope getting wedged and making it difficult to deal with slack.
The cassin GTC (known as the Piu in europe) is the solution to these problems. Rope handling feels similar to a standard ATC, and the lockoff is a bit more secure than an ATC. This is a really great all-around device. I haven't tried it on thin twin ropes, so have no idea how secure the lock-off would be in this situation.
The GTC/piu is difficult to find in the US, but if you order overseas from a place like barrabes.com, the shipping isn't terribly expensive. Still, paying the conversion from euros to dollars plus shipping turns this into a quite expensive belay device. In my opinion, it's well worth it. This is as close to a do-everything belay device that I've found. I wish cassin had more of a US presence, because this device deserves to be on the shelf at every climbing store in the country.