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Left Handed Belayer...auto locking belay device recommendations?
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By stanley 250
From scottsdale, az
Feb 23, 2013
me <br />

My friend is left handed and can't seem to get comfortable with a grigri2 very well. Does anyone else have this problem?

Other than using an ATC, does anyone have any recommendations for other devices with some type of auto lock or how to get comfortable with the grigri?

Thanks


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By Jeremy Hand
Feb 23, 2013
slopey

Mammut smart alpine possibly? It is not auto-locking but I reckon no belay device actually is...


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By JCM
From Henderson, NV
Feb 23, 2013

Perhaps try the Gri Gri 1? Everything on it is a bit bigger, and thus gives you a bit more to work with. I imagine that they're cheap to buy these days.

There really is not reason to use any autolocking device other than the Gri Gri. It is the standard for a number of very good reasons All of the alternatives have serious flaws.


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By stanley 250
From scottsdale, az
Feb 23, 2013
me <br />

Jeremy Hand wrote:
Mammut smart alpine possibly? It is not auto-locking but I reckon no belay device actually is...



Thanks..the mammut site indicates, "...original Smart device that pinches the rope during a fall to make catching and holding falls easy."

Have you used this - does that mean it locks like a grigri?


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By Dan White
From Western CO
Feb 23, 2013
There is sometimes a "community" crash pad at Big Bend

The GriGri 1 and GriGri 2 both have the same problem. They just aren't designed to feed rope smoothly from the left side. I spent a little time fighting with it, but eventually just learned to belay right-handed with the GriGri. I think that's the best option.

And besides I think it's good to be able to belay with either hand.


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By frankstoneline
Feb 23, 2013

Know at least one left handed guy that uses a gri gri 1 flipped upside down to accommodate his left handed self.


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By Pitty
From Marbach
Feb 23, 2013
My cool Elly....

Try this out:

easy, simple and secure...

www.climbingtechnology.it/it-IT/click-up/dettagli.html


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By Steve M
From MN
Feb 23, 2013

stanley 250 wrote:
Thanks..the mammut site indicates, "...original Smart device that pinches the rope during a fall to make catching and holding falls easy." Have you used this - does that mean it locks like a grigri?


I've been using an alpine smart for about a year now and really like it. I've never had it not lock up like its supposed to, although like a gri-gri the instructions will tell you to always have break hand on just in case. I also find it's a lot easier for me to give slack with the smart without locking it up accidentally and short roping the leader.

I don't think it's quite an even up replacement for a gri-gri, but for any belayer who even half pays attention it's a good alternative. The one thing to be aware of is that with the alpine version you need a BIG biner to not make it a PITA to use. The Petzel William works great.


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By stanley 250
From scottsdale, az
Feb 23, 2013
me <br />

JCM wrote:
.. There really is not reason to use any autolocking device other than the Gri Gri...


That is sorta the purpose for this thread. To see if anyone else out there found something that competes with the grigri. I'm not convinced that GriGri is the ONLY option. If you're right handed, sure - why bother looking or even talking about it. For Lefty's, though, I think it's worth talking about other options.

Have you tried the Trango Cinch? I tried that the other day and thought it was very comparable to the grigri.

www.mountainproject.com/v/gear-review---trango-cinch-belay-d>>>


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By bearbreeder
Feb 23, 2013

www.mountainproject.com/v/mammut-alpine-smart-review/1072920>>>


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By generationfourth
From Irvine, CA
Feb 23, 2013

I'm left handed and I use the grigri 1 with no problems. I use it normally (not flipped upside down or anything)

When I used the grigri2 I couldn't feed out rope with the petzl approved method smoothly... it was a lot harder.

I would have him try the 1


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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Feb 23, 2013
My navigator keeps me from getting lost

Jeremy Hand wrote:
Mammut smart alpine possibly? It is not auto-locking but I reckon no belay device actually is...


+1. And, yeah, no manufacturer calls their device auto-locking...the lawyers won't allow them to. Even the grigri is an 'assisted braking' device.

stanley 250 wrote:
...Have you used this - does that mean it locks like a grigri?


Saw this after I commented and didn't see a response. Yes, the Mammut Smart works just as well as the GriGri. One point of clarification...the Smart Alpine is for ropes <9.5mm. If you're using a bigger diameter rope, you'll need the regular Mammut Smart. The only drawback to it is that it's a single thread device and can't be used for 'standard' rappels.


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By stanley 250
From scottsdale, az
Feb 23, 2013
me <br />

Pitty wrote:
Try this out: easy, simple and secure... www.climbingtechnology.it/it-IT/click-up/dettagli.html




Thanks - I'll have to take a close look at the Click-Up. I found one decent review comparing GriGri / Mammut Smart / Cypher Click-Up...but have never seen one of these in person.

From Amazon reviews, "...I've considered a couple of belay devices, and finally bought the Click-Up. Here is what made me choose it:
- The motion for top-roping is precisely the same as a normal ATC, so if I have to fall back to one in an emergency or in case I forget my belay device, I'm still used to it.
- For leading, it's almost the same motion as an ATC; the only thing to pay attention to is to give the rope on the brake hand side enough slack, otherwise the device locks, which doesn't help clipping much. On the other side, this means that if the break hand is not below the device, the Click-Up locks as much as an ATC: not at all. (I see this as a feature: there's a rope feeding mode when your hand is above the device. Just like with an ATC, clipping should be the only time this happens.)
- Even in the locked state, it is possible to take in slack (which is for example necessary if you want to pull a climber back up on route after an overhang fall, or if your partner is on a tight toprope and you cannot or do not want to unlock it every few seconds).
- If you feed the rope in the wrong way, i.e. the device is upside down, it still works as a (non auto-locking) ATC, allowing to lower the partner safely and correcting the mistake. I haven't used it in practice (nor am I planning to), but when trying it out in dry test runs, it seemed to work as intended. Big plus!
- Lowering is smooth, and the device doesn't get hot. (The carabiner however does.)
- Ropes above the diameter which the device is rated for can be very sticky. Taking up slack required forcibly pulling the rope out, and lowering had to be supported by manually feeding rope in the bottom of the device if thebody weight isn't enough. If you ever encounter this situation, here's an easy workaround: use your non-brake hand to unlock the device and hold it in that position, while the brake hand feeds into it just like it would with an ATC. The nice thing is that once the friction is too high to lower easily, that very friction can be used for an alternative way of lowering nicely. (On a side note: if you let go with your un-blocking hand, the device fully locks again immediately, no risk involved.)

So much for the device itself, but what makes it better than the competitors? I also considered the Petzl Grigri and the Mammut Smart.
Grigri: I've seen so many people developing awful belay technique while using this.
- Toprope: While arguably being the most fool-proof device for toproping, many people I've seen belaying relied on the device being fully automatic, doing whatever with their right hand "because it'll work even if I take my brake hand off". For this very reason, I never let any person normally using a Grigri belay me with an ATC.
- Lead: All techniques to give out rope quickly that I know of (and that I've used) involve partially letting go with part of your hand, i.e. the fingers don't form a closed ring around the brake rope anymore, which means a far weaker grip. In addition, when one's got a finger on the lever to purposely prevent the device from auto locking, I can see how in case of a fall one could grip the device firmly in shock, completely disabling the device (making it an expensive frictionless ropefeeder), and even in the best case one might not be able to grab the brake rope properly in a hurry.
Compared to the things I like about the Click-Up, here are the differences:
- Non-standard motion
- Feeding the rope the wrong way renders the device useless
- The Grigri automatically unlocks once tension is taken off the climber's side of the rope

Smart: I liked the idea of having a locking device without any moving parts. Deciding between the Smart and the Click-Up was based on a few, almost trivial things:
- I heard stories about it now lowering smoothly. This could very well have been a gear issue, such as using a rope that's too thick.
- I felt like I wouldn't know what to do with the long nose when belaying normally, it looked like that would always be in the way, except when lowering.
- The design looked like it could jam on a hard fall, making it hard to get the carabiner out of the locking position.
- I liked the clicking idea of the Click-Up.
- The Smart is cheaper
- Due to the shape of the device, I feel like it's absolutely impossible not to immediately realize when the rope is fed in the wrong way

Also note that many articles and reviews state that the device has no moving parts, which is wrong. There is a small "tongue" of plastic on the inside, which pushes against the rope; it is this piece of plastic that prevents the device from locking when there's only small but nonzero tension on the rope. While it never happened to me that this jammed, I would recommend rinsing the device with water after it's been in a dirty environment for a couple of times. (And do test whether it clicks up properly before your partner goes up the wall. Partner checks cost ten seconds and can potentially save a life.)

A final word on carabiners to pair this with: If you're not using the one recommended by Climbing Technology, you should probably give it a test before. I remember a situation where the device didn't seem to lock easily when I used it with my Petzl William (although that may have been a dream; in any case, test your gear thoroughly before you put someone's life on it). Right now, I'm using it with a Petzl Am'D, which is a) smaller and b) refused to not work in my tests"


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By bearbreeder
Feb 23, 2013

Crag Dweller wrote:
. One point of clarification...the Smart Alpine is for ropes <9.5mm. If you're using a bigger diameter rope, you'll need the regular Mammut Smart.


no ... theres 2 sizes to the alpine smart


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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Feb 23, 2013
My navigator keeps me from getting lost

bearbreeder wrote:
no ... theres 2 sizes to the alpine smart


Ah, I stand corrected.


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By Pitty
From Marbach
Feb 23, 2013
My cool Elly....

imo the smart is not handy at all....... have you ever tried it out?


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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Feb 23, 2013
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogstick Ridge link-up.  Photo by Myriam Bouchard

The Click-Up also comes in a double-rope version, the Alpine Up. www.climbingtechnology.it/en-US/alpine-up/details.html It covers the ranges of both the Mammut Smarts, although I don't think it will be pleasant to use for ropes much more than 10mm. (The manufacturer says 10.5mm). As one of the relatively few people who appear to have tried both the Smart and the Up, I find the Up to be significantly better for half-rope belaying, but it is more expensive and heavier.

Both devices work equally well for lefties and righties, although lefties do have to endure the indignity of right-handed threading diagrams.


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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Feb 23, 2013

Man, you guys are making us lefties look lame. We have to be adaptable in a right handed world. Right handed desks, spiral binders, etc., etc. Ive never had problems with either grigri ( though sadly my wife, who is also a lefty, says she cant use the grigri 2 for that reason). I can't call her lame, so i'm interested in these responses.


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By stanley 250
From scottsdale, az
Feb 23, 2013
me <br />

Pitty wrote:
imo the smart is not handy at all....... have you ever tried it out?


I haven't tried it and would be interested why you say it's not handy?

So far, I see two that would provide the same belay experience for a left handed person (both grigri1&2 and trango cinch a left handed person would have to at least make minor adjustments):


Mammut Smart line
Cypher Click-Up


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Feb 23, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on

Fat Dad wrote:
Man, you guys are making us lefties look lame. We have to be adaptable in a right handed world. Right handed desks, spiral binders, etc., etc. Ive never had problems with either grigri ( though sadly my wife, who is also a lefty, says she cant use the grigri 2 for that reason). I can't call her lame, so i'm interested in these responses.



Spiral binders suck for us left-handers!!

I'm pretty ambidextrous so I just belay right-handed though


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By CHRIS.T
From Longmont, Co.
Feb 23, 2013
Enjoying a cold day on The Saber. RMNP

TRANGO CINCH. I belay left handed and this is my 'assisted-braking' belay device of choice. I also had trouble with the Gri-Gri when belaying left handed. Cinch is actually a few grams lighter than the new gri-gri 2.


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By Brad W
From San Diego
Feb 23, 2013

I'm lefty and find the cinch much easier than the gri gri 1. I've never tried the 2.


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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Feb 23, 2013

Ben Brotelho wrote:
Spiral binders suck for us left-handers!! I'm pretty ambidextrous so I just belay right-handed though

I'm like you Ben. I'm pretty ambidextrous as well (throw right handed, can swing a hammer with either hand, etc.) so it's no problem for me to use my right.


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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Feb 23, 2013
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogstick Ridge link-up.  Photo by Myriam Bouchard

stanley 250 wrote:
I haven't tried it and would be interested why you say it's not handy?


You would understand best by trying them out. The Smart has to be pulled away from the harness to feed rope smoothly---there is a finger catch on the handle to facilitate this. This means that that slack is pumped to the leader with the non-brake hand; the design intention is that the brake hand should be on the handle pulling the device out. Now you can ignore this and pump slack with two hands as you would with an ATC, but then it is likely that the device will grab, short-roping the leader.

I don't think this is much of an issue with a single rope, but with two half ropes, one of which needs to be taken in while the other is paid out, it becomes a hassle.

The Alpine Up has a "handling bay" and a "locking bay." They are joined by channel that is narrowed by a spring-loaded tab. When the rope is in the handling bay, it moves freely in either direction, giving you the best handling of any device out there, in my opinion. A very moderate load pulls the rope and connecting biner through the channel, pushing aside the tab (which clicks when it springs back). Once in the locking bay the Up locks up the way the Smart does, which is just by the geometry of the channel.


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By Woodchuck ATC
Feb 23, 2013
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

Pitty wrote:
Try this out: easy, simple and secure... www.climbingtechnology.it/it-IT/click-up/dettagli.html




Exactly. Been using the clickup for several years now and it is foolproof plus ambidexterous for those lefties out there. enjoy it.


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By bearbreeder
Feb 23, 2013

The alpine smart as i noted in my linked review is VERY rope and biner dependant

In short use a petzl william or dmm boa

And use with a sub 9.8mm rope, or a 10-10.2mm that stays soft and supple ... Like a beal or tendon

It is however the most intuitive of the assisted lockers IMO .... And the best for newer climbers due to the similar braking position as an atc ... It also offers superior autoblock performance

The DAV magazine panorama likes it as well if i remeber

And its cheaper and lighter than the others


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