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GriGri II for Top Rope Soloing
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May 24, 2011
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Disclaimer:
1) I know that Petzl does not endorse using the GriGri II for top rope soloing nor is top rope soloing its intended purpose.
2) I am familiar and experienced with the underlying principles and risks of top rope soloing with devices other than the GriGri II.
3) I will not be lead soloing with the GriGri II if I were to purchase it. I would only be top rope soloing.
4) I am specifically asking about the new GriGri II. Not the old GriGri nor any other devices which I know have been covered ad nauseum.
5) I will not hold any of you accountable if I am maimed or killed. I am an independent thinker who can draw my own conclusions based on what I read here.


So, that said, has anyone had a chance to test out the new GriGri II for top rope soloing? If so, what was your experience? How smoothly did it feed? Were any modifications necessary (like the death mod for the previous generation)? How well did it catch a fall? Was a chest harness or something similar necessary for it to function well? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Crimp Junkie
From New Britain, CT
Joined Oct 19, 2009
25 points
May 24, 2011
If TRing is all you want to solo. Why not go with the Mini-Traxion method? Bob Dobalina
Joined Jun 2, 2009
178 points
May 24, 2011
Profile
Herb wrote:
If TRing is all you want to solo. Why not go with the Mini-Traxion method?


I have my reasons.
Crimp Junkie
From New Britain, CT
Joined Oct 19, 2009
25 points
May 24, 2011
Vervet Monkeys know which site is best.
Do you already own the GriGri 2, or are you planning to buy it specifically for this purpose?

I just tried mine in the basement and it felt comparable to the old GriGri for TR-soloing (i.e. feeds like crap and you have to manually take in slack).

If you're considering buying it mainly for TR soloing but want to use it as a belay device here and there I'd strongly recommend getting the Trango Cinch instead. It's a great device, feeds like butter due to its design, and it can be used with a single Mini-Trax backup for a killer TR solo setup (search forum for info on that).

Have fun out there.

Edit: Before you spring from your couch to buy a Cinch at this very instant, read below for the full story on whether or not it's a good idea. (ominous music begins).
DFrench
From Cape Ann
Joined Apr 22, 2007
510 points
May 24, 2011
Profile
DFrench wrote:
Do you already own the GriGri 2, or are you planning to buy it specifically for this purpose? I just tried mine in the basement and it felt comparable to the old GriGri for TR-soloing (i.e. feeds like crap and you have to manually take in slack). If you're considering buying it mainly for TR soloing but want to use it as a belay device here and there I'd strongly recommend getting the Trango Cinch instead. It's a great device, feeds like butter due to its design, and it can be used with a single Mini-Trax backup for a killer TR solo setup (search forum for info on that). Have fun out there.


Thanks, that's exactly what I am looking for. I do not yet own the GriGri II, but would like to find something that could safely double as a belay device & top rope solo device. I've read a number of previous posts of yours that advocate the Cinch for just that. Bearing in mind that I will be using either a Mini Traxion or Microcender in tandem with the Cinch (assuming I chose it), how do you feel about some reports that demonstrate that the Cinch breaks when dynamically forced against something like, say, a back-up knot?
Crimp Junkie
From New Britain, CT
Joined Oct 19, 2009
25 points
May 24, 2011
Devices like the Camp Lift are way better for top-rope soloing. Feed smoothly, grab quickly, no rope damage from teeth. Clyde
Joined Jul 15, 2008
11 points
May 24, 2011
Rock wars, Red River Gorge
Crimp Junkie wrote:
Thanks, that's exactly what I am looking for. I do not yet own the GriGri II, but would like to find something that could safely double as a belay device & top rope solo device. I've read a number of previous posts of yours that advocate the Cinch for just that. Bearing in mind that I will be using either a Mini Traxion or Microcender in tandem with the Cinch (assuming I chose it), how do you feel about some reports that demonstrate that the Cinch breaks when dynamically forced against something like, say, a back-up knot?


I STRONGLY disagree that the Cinch is a better TR solo device than a grigri. Yes, it feeds miles better than any version of the grigri. However, it has more likely failure modes and more severe consequences of these modes.

A number of things can cause the cinch to fail to "auto-lock" (I use the term with a bit of tongue-in-cheek here). There is a little tab on the outside. If anything gets in its way, the cam will not engage. I have personally witnessed this when a very, very small piece of fabric got caught under it. Similarly, if there is something blocking the cam from closing at all, it will not engage.

There is no spring to assist the rope into a locking position, and the rope runs straight through the device. This is what causes it to feed so well, but also means that if the cam does not engage you will basically be in free fall. Backup knots are inadequate here, since the device has been shown to fail against a knot.


If you are going to be soloing, get gear that is well established to be effective or else is intended for the purpose. MiniTrax is the standard here. There's a reason for it. The original grigri is decent, but not great. Can't say much about the GG2, since I haven't used it for TR soloing.
shoo
Joined Aug 9, 2010
73 points
May 24, 2011
Just buy a Ropeman Mk II! coldfinger
Joined Oct 23, 2010
72 points
 
May 24, 2011
Vervet Monkeys know which site is best.
shoo wrote:
I STRONGLY disagree that the Cinch is a better TR solo device than a grigri


Shoo, I think your post and others in this thread underscore the fact that there really is no single IDEAL device that is designed for TR soloing AND works smoothly enough to be practical.

It is my opinion that many of the flaws you point out in the Cinch can be just as likely to occur in the GriGri (such as cam/nubs getting caught on things like fabric or the rock).

I do not use any back-up knots below the Cinch. I have a Mini-Trax on a 10 cm sling from my belay loop to an independent strand of rope as a backup. I've logged many pitches and have never weighted my Mini-Trax, not once.

Furthermore, considering the way I TR solo - which I do for exercise and enjoyment, not to push my climbing limits - I feel confident saying that I've never placed forces on the Cinch that are greater than those seen in a free-hanging rappel or, to be extreme, when catching a leader fall. Both of these are published uses of the device and are done WITHOUT a backup.

I think whatever piece of equipment you choose, you should do so because YOU feel confident in its performance. And I hope it goes without saying, use a backup!
DFrench
From Cape Ann
Joined Apr 22, 2007
510 points
May 24, 2011
This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I thi...
DFrench wrote:
Shoo, I think your post and others in this thread underscore the fact that there really is no single IDEAL device that is designed for TR soloing AND works smoothly enough to be practical.

Gotta throw in my .02. I love the Petzl microscender/rescuscender for this, very smooth and designed to slip during shock loads, no teeth or narrow edges on the end of it's cam.
Rick Blair
From Denver
Joined Oct 16, 2007
246 points
May 24, 2011
I´ve used both and the Grigri 2 wasn´t as good as the old version for feeding with a 10mm rope. I tried modded and un-modded versions of both back to back and gave away the Grigri 2!

Jim
Jim Titt
From Germany
Joined Nov 10, 2009
185 points
May 24, 2011
Profile
Jim Titt wrote:
I´ve used both and the Grigri 2 wasn´t as good as the old version for feeding with a 10mm rope. I tried modded and un-modded versions of both back to back and gave away the Grigri 2! Jim


Thanks Jim, that's exactly the kind of information I'm looking for.
Crimp Junkie
From New Britain, CT
Joined Oct 19, 2009
25 points
May 24, 2011
The Nose, El Cap
I do it all the time. Top rope soloing, short fixing on el cap, aid soloing. I like the gri gri 2 more than the 1st gen. Cheyne Lempe
From Denver, CO
Joined Apr 14, 2008
169 points
May 24, 2011
The Nose, El Cap
I do it all the time. Top rope soloing, short fixing on el cap, aid soloing. I like the gri gri 2 more than the 1st gen. Cheyne Lempe
From Denver, CO
Joined Apr 14, 2008
169 points
May 25, 2011
I'll sell my Cinch (green body, two years old) for 30$ if anyone is interested. Rob Duncan
From Salt Lake City
Joined Dec 27, 2007
131 points
May 25, 2011
DFrench wrote:
Do you already own the GriGri 2, or are you planning to buy it specifically for this purpose? I just tried mine in the basement and it felt comparable to the old GriGri for TR-soloing (i.e. feeds like crap and you have to manually take in slack). If you're considering buying it mainly for TR soloing but want to use it as a belay device here and there I'd strongly recommend getting the Trango Cinch instead. It's a great device, feeds like butter due to its design, and it can be used with a single Mini-Trax backup for a killer TR solo setup (search forum for info on that). Have fun out there.


use the cinch like that you are pushing your luck... horrible beta.
SAL
From broomdigiddy
Joined Mar 23, 2007
784 points
 
May 25, 2011
shoo wrote:
I STRONGLY disagree that the Cinch is a better TR solo device than a grigri. Yes, it feeds miles better than any version of the grigri. However, it has more likely failure modes and more severe consequences of these modes. A number of things can cause the cinch to fail to "auto-lock" (I use the term with a bit of tongue-in-cheek here). There is a little tab on the outside. If anything gets in its way, the cam will not engage. I have personally witnessed this when a very, very small piece of fabric got caught under it. Similarly, if there is something blocking the cam from closing at all, it will not engage. There is no spring to assist the rope into a locking position, and the rope runs straight through the device. This is what causes it to feed so well, but also means that if the cam does not engage you will basically be in free fall. Backup knots are inadequate here, since the device has been shown to fail against a knot. If you are going to be soloing, get gear that is well established to be effective or else is intended for the purpose. MiniTrax is the standard here. There's a reason for it. The original grigri is decent, but not great. Can't say much about the GG2, since I haven't used it for TR soloing.


Some of the best beta i have seen on the Cinch and best educated. Glad to see some people research before spraying how to hurt yourself..
SAL
From broomdigiddy
Joined Mar 23, 2007
784 points
May 25, 2011
Vervet Monkeys know which site is best.
SAL wrote:
Some of the best beta i have seen on the Cinch and best educated. Glad to see some people research before spraying how to hurt yourself..


I suppose the danger of an online forum is that everyone gets to act like an expert.

I think SAL is right to point out that anyone looking to get into TR soloing needs to do their homework on their chosen device to know its short-comings and the limitations of its intended use. But, alas, I think I've polluted the database enough with my Cinch talk for a while.

Sorry for the hi-jack of your thread, OP, but I think you got some relevant responses about the GriGri 2 in there somewhere.
DFrench
From Cape Ann
Joined Apr 22, 2007
510 points
May 25, 2011
DFrench wrote:
I suppose the danger of an online forum is that everyone gets to act like an expert. I think SAL is right to point out that anyone looking to get into TR soloing needs to do their homework on their chosen device to know its short-comings and the limitations of its intended use. But, alas, I think I've polluted the database enough with my Cinch talk for a while. Sorry for the hi-jack of your thread, OP, but I think you got some relevant responses about the GriGri 2 in there somewhere.



Shoo gave great beta.

I spent 2 years working for Trango and going over numberous tests and scenarios. I big wall climb more than anything now and wish the CInch was able to perform as good and be safe. Fact is it doesnt. It can be very dangerous used in the wrong manner so like is posted. Soloing with the Cinch is a bad idea. Backing the CInch up with a knot at any point in time solo or not is a bad idea. If anyone really has more in depth questions feel free to give me a shout. back to the grigriII now...

Edit*** I still use the Cinch all the time. And i have both GriGri's so the CInch surely has its place
SAL
From broomdigiddy
Joined Mar 23, 2007
784 points
May 25, 2011
Vervet Monkeys know which site is best.
DFrench wrote:
I suppose the danger of an online forum is that everyone gets to act like an expert
<<Was referring more to myself here.

Shoo has raised valid concerns with the Cinch that are discussed more at length elsewhere on the interweb.

Perhaps because I have moved to Massachusetts, where no single wall exceeds 100 feet, I've come to assume that all TR soloing is done on single pitch routes where the ropes hang in a plumb line from top to bottom. Indeed my outlook borders on denial.

I regret blathering about the Cinch as the go-to device. This is NOT a big-wall setup and as has been pointed out it is questionably safe for my less-than-noteworthy TR solo achievements on the east coast.

Carry on
DFrench
From Cape Ann
Joined Apr 22, 2007
510 points
May 25, 2011
Wall Street, Moab, UT
DFrench wrote:
This is NOT a big-wall setup and as has been pointed out it is questionably safe for my less-than-noteworthy TR solo achievements on the east coast.


I think you've been pretty good about mentioning that you use it with a backup device...

I've tried a number of devices for TR soloing and 1 or 2 for lead soloing, and I wouldn't call the Cinch the most dangerous (I reserve that honor for the Petzl Shunt), but after using it a few times I returned to my old setup, both for safety and because I never quite got comfortable with the way the lowering handle works for rappelling. If you're backing the thing up with a Mini-trax, though, I don't see where you'd get in too much trouble. I also dislike the way the Grigri works for TR soloing... wouldn't recommend it.
Peter Stokes
From Them Thar Hills
Joined Apr 30, 2009
152 points
May 25, 2011
Unknown at Golden Cliffs
I've TR soloed with my Grigri2 on a 10.2 Supersafe with a backpack to feed and alpine butterflies on the backup strand. I have never TR soloed with any other device, but I find that the device locks quickly, feeds well on my fat rope, and no chest harness was necessary. I have not seen anyone with a modified Grigri2 for lead solo, and would like to get into it myself. Has anyone modified their Grigri2, and if so, can you upload a picture? Keith Earley
From Boulder, Colorado
Joined Jan 7, 2011
31 points
Jun 14, 2011
I've used my GriGri II for Top Rope soloing, and found that it works great.

My setup involves running the rope freely through the master point, tying in to my harness, and running the other end through the GriGri. Every few feet pull out the slack, and if you have a free hand, tie any stopper knot (I find that an alpine butterfly and an overhand on a bight are the easiest to tie one handed) as a failsafe in case the device fails for any reason.

It's kind of a pain feeding slack through, so if you use that setup I wouldn't recommend using it to climb at your limit. I've used mine to run laps on moderates on days that I can't find a belayer, and it's been more than satisfying. Hope this helps.
Clay Zamperini
From Tarzana, CA
Joined Nov 27, 2009
84 points
Jun 14, 2011
Silverton
Clay Zamperini wrote:
It's kind of a pain feeding slack through

Did they change the design on the new one so you can't modify it?
Ty Harlacker
From Albuquerque, NM
Joined Mar 2, 2008
211 points
 
Jun 14, 2011
Ty Harlacker wrote:
Did they change the design on the new one so you can't modify it?


I think it can still be modified, but I'm not about to start drilling my belay device.
Clay Zamperini
From Tarzana, CA
Joined Nov 27, 2009
84 points
Jun 15, 2011
photo by Forest Woodward
I've used a GGII for TR soloing, it works about as well as the original one. Which is to say, it works well for some things, and not for others.

It's great for working short sections of a hard climb, on which you'll often have to lower.

It's bad for cruising long pitches, since it's a pain to feed. A minitrax feeds super well, but of course you have to re-rig another device to lower.

On a similar note, I learned a new super-simple trick for backing up my mini-trax the other day:

Take a standard sized steel quicklink, and a short sling (I use a half-length one, you could also use 6mm cord or similar).

Put the minitrax on the rope as normal, girth-hitch the sling to your belay loop, and attach the QL to the sling and the rope. Then tie knots as you climb.

Even if you're whole mini-trax and biner explode, the QL will still catch on the nearest knot and save you from the big plunge.

Simple Minitrax backup system.
Simple Minitrax backup system.
Scott Bennett
Joined Jan 9, 2008
1,151 points


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