Excellent multi-purpose tool
Review by: scottb, 2008-08-27
I put off buying one of these things for years. Now I don't know how I ever climbed without one. The main reason I bought it was for my wife to belay me on sport climbs where I would be hanging a lot. It has become my main belay device for sport cragging, top roping, and the gym. The other things I use it for:
* Solo TR (though other devices are better, IMO)
* Back-up to a two-jug system
* In certain situations as an ascender with one jug or friction knot
* Solo aid
* belaying leaders on big-walls (where you might fall asleep while belaying)
* belaying any leader where you can provide a dynamic catch by jumping
Things I don't use it for:
* Teaching beginners. I'll let some who has never used a grigri use mine if they are solid on a tube style after I explain that it is just a "locking assist" (or whatever) device and not an "auto locking" device. And that care must be taken when lowering and etc.
* Long free climbs where it would be too heavy
* Any pitch where you're tied to an anchor and the only way to provide a softer catch is to let some rope slip.
* Any time when it's cold enough that the moving parts can freeze
I'd also like to add that "panic pull" potential and over-relaxed belayer mindset are not flaws of the grigri itself, as some people seem to imply, but rather types of operator error. This is why I think it's essential to catch lots n lots of falls on a tube style device before making this your primary belay device.
All around a great piece of gear. Five starz.