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Solo gri gri question
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By chris7
From San Diego, CA
Apr 1, 2010
Belaying

I have heard multiple views on using a grigri for solo aid and free climbing. Some say it shortropes you all the time and others say the rope whizzes through it and creates slack. I can see it changing also where it shortropes early in a pitch and creates slack at the end.
Will a grigri let rope slide through fast enough to aid or free climb at a some what normal pace without locking up and shortroping you? When thinking about this I am assuming the user is just letting the grigri hang from their harness and isn't using a chest harness. And that the rope is also just hanging from the harness and grigri


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By DFrench
From The Shrew, MA
Apr 2, 2010
Vervet Monkeys know which site is best.

I think the GriGri feeds plenty fast enough for solo aid, especially since you can adjust slack as often as you need to. I personally use back up knots beneath it, so I am able to manage slack when I unclip/reclip knots every several moves. I have never used the GriGri for solo free climbing and I don't think I would want to for many reasons.


Maybe look into using ~LONG~ prusik loops or rubber bands to manage the weight of the rope pulling slack through as you get higher up. If done properly (with the prusiks) this also has the added benefit of allowing you to re-belay the rope over sharp edges to prevent abrasion when jugging back up the pitch. Check out Pete's descriptions of this if you're so inclined.


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By Mark Hudon
Apr 2, 2010
On the North America Wall in 1977.

If you were using back up knots, would you simply tie them into the rope, let them dangle and untie them as they hit the grigri or would you clip them to your harness?


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By Will Gordon
From Boulder, CO
Apr 2, 2010

I have used a GriGri to aid solo quite a bit. You definitely need to use back-up knots. I personally keep them clipped into my harness opposed to leaving the rope hanging. Be mindful that the hanging loops you create can get snagged below you.

From my experience the diameter of the rope will determine how quickly the rope will feed through the device. I've heard quite a few stories of guys whipping all the way to the catastrophe knots because the GriGri never caught. One thing I have done in the past, especially with skinnier ropes, is put a munter on the brake strand on my leg loop above the back-up knots. Its still easy to pay out slack with one hand, but it can provide the necessary pressure to get the grigri to lock. I've fallen on purpose with this set-up a few times and it worked well.


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By mucci
From sf ca
Apr 2, 2010

You need to chop off the tab on the plate side of the grigri. This is the only way to truly get the rope to feed smoothly whilst free climbing. Keep it OE for the Aid, no need for the modification. JUst pay out as much slack as you need to fire in that next peice.

You must also attach a keeper loop/swage at the brake side of the device. This is then attached to a chest harness to orient the Gri vertically.

I have taken falls on ropes from 9.5-10.5mm, though the best for me is a used 9.5.

Be sure to use a Steel biner for attachment to harness, duct tape works to keep the gri from cross loading on the biner.

Oh and backup knots are a must.


Grind the tab, file it down, then finish with an emory board.
Grind the tab, file it down, then finish with an emory board.



Now forget drilling through the cam box as seen on the HOw-to mod a gri.  Attach like this.
Now forget drilling through the cam box as seen on the HOw-to mod a gri. Attach like this.


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By Peter Franzen
Administrator
From Phoenix, AZ
Apr 2, 2010
Belay

"You must also attach a keeper loop/swage at the brake side of the device. This is then attached to a chest harness to orient the Gri vertically."

How exactly do you set that part up?


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By mucci
From sf ca
Apr 2, 2010

The rig i use.
The rig i use.


The Swage loop does not have to be load bearing.

You can use runners etc... The point is to keep it vertical so the rope runs smooth.

In a upside down screamer, the force of the catch "Should" reorient you and if a large enough force is applied the swage will break away.

This is in no way proven, I have taken falls, none have been head first. But this setup or something similar allows one to climb free in a somewhat controlled manner. Once you have the system dialed it is downright smooth.

I usually wear a rope bag or small backpack, feed the rope in and have it running over the shoulder and straight down through the grigri to the anchor.


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By DFrench
From The Shrew, MA
Apr 2, 2010
Vervet Monkeys know which site is best.

Mucci,

very cool looking set-up. I like that you don't drill into the cam-box, that part makes me feel uneasy about the other mods. Quick question, how do you deal with the back-up knots if the rope is flaked inside a backpack?


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By mucci
From sf ca
Apr 2, 2010

"how do you deal with the back-up knots if the rope is flaked inside a backpack?"

This is very route dependent.

Sometimes I tie overhand knots every 25 feet or so, then carefully stack the rope in the backpack which has a large opening at the top.

Or

Flake out 20+ feet of rope and tie a knot, clip it to the gear loop. Repeat as needed.

The name of the game is knowing where your gonna be gripped so you don't have a knot to deal with during the thrutching.

You can feel the knot as the rope moves over your shoulder, but usually I go stance to stance with the knots.

Glad this was of some help.

It is a far cry from where I started rope soloing :)


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By Keenan Waeschle
From Bozeman, MT
Apr 2, 2010
on top of the RNWF <br />June 2012

why would you clip it to your gear loop? shouldn't your backup go into something full strength? it would stop you either way but two attachment points to the rope doesn't seem like that bad of an idea.


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By mucci
From sf ca
Apr 2, 2010

I trade redundancy for efficiency on moderate routes that I solo.

Sometimes I tie into the other end of the rope, and clip off my backups to that. However this is very cumbersome, If I am gripped I will clip into the belay loop.

If your talking multi- pitch or walls, I am always tied into the rope.

But for most routes, just having a knot is enough for me. Tons of pitches, new routing, and short fixing have proven this system to ME.

Soloing is a very personal facet to climbing, it's your choice.

The rules don't always apply.


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By Mark Hudon
Apr 3, 2010
On the North America Wall in 1977.

I like it mucci. I'm going to have to mod mine for an upcoming solo that has some pretty significant free pitches on it. I hadn't thought of using my big wall equipment sling to hold the top of the grigri.


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By ERolls
From Custer, SD
Apr 3, 2010
Devils Tower Summit

A little more food for thought. IMO the worst thing about a mod gri is the chance of being caught like this...

Rope catches lever.
Rope catches lever.


The reason there's a flap is to hold the rope closer to the cam.
I modded mine like so...
Flap modified but not removed.
Flap modified but not removed.


But if you let slack build up in the system the rope can still catch the lever. So what I did was to orient the gri with the lever towards my body like so...
Lever oriented towards body not rock.
Lever oriented towards body not rock.


When you fall the rope is pulled away from the lever. If you do fall on the lever you're stuck there until you can climb up and release it.
This happened to me once. I was hanging in space away from the rock and had to prussic up a bit to get the rope off the lever. Then had to lower to get back on the rock. A pant soiling experience indeed!

To attach to the harness I use the maillon in the picture. Never found a biner I trusted completely. At 65K the gri will explode before it breaks and it's hard to crossload it.

To attach to chest I used 3 mill cord drilled through the plastic and the bottom cord is just a keeper.
Chest attachment and keeper cord.
Chest attachment and keeper cord.


If you haven't solo'd before, spend a day on a 5.super easy and try it every way you can think. You'll learn a ton and develope your own preferences. Be safe, think and have fun.

Cheers-E


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By mucci
From sf ca
Apr 3, 2010

Yep, I've done it both ways. If the cam is on the body side, it can be obstructed by the harness etc and delay the catch as well (personal experience).

As Erni's 1st pic shows, yes this can happen, if so it will not cut your rope rather engage the brake (personal experience). I try and manage the line during a fall but never rely on the ability to do so.

both ways have caused malfunction of the device for me and others I know. It is not the best system but one that has been reliable for walls, and free climbing for years.

Once again it's not "death on a stick" rather it's a choice that allows for the most efficient progression on a climb for ME.

Hell I still use a clove hitch.

Nice setup Ernie, the only time the rope came under the cam was due to me holding it there!


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By "Pass the Pitons" Pete Zabrok
From Oakville, Ontario
Apr 4, 2010
Left to right - me, Sam Adams, Thomas Huber, Alex Huber

Note that Mucci's modifications to the Grigri are specifically to make it feed easier when FREE climbing. You do knott need to modify a Grigri for solo aid climbing.

You really need to think twice when you start fooling around with modifying gear. Make sure you really know what you are doing, especially if you dare to use a rope skinnier than the 10mm minimum the manufacturer recommends. If you are going to reinvent the wheel, make damn sure you know what you are doing.

Grigris can slip, especially on slow falls. They are also known to slip - all the way to the end of the bloody rope - if you thread the thing backwards! So make bloody sure you know which way to thread the damn thing! One time Chongo and I were standing at the base of the wall, and this dude bailed off a solo attempt of the N.A. Wall. "I took a fall, and slid right to the end of the rope because the Grigri didn't hold!"

"You threaded it backwards," we said.

"No I didn't!"

Yeah, right, dude.

And always ALWAYS **ALWAYS** tie a frickin' backup knot or you will end up dead!


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By John Shultz
From Osaka, Japan
Apr 4, 2010
Above the beautifully positioned routes at Makapuu. Oahu, HI.

JLP wrote:
Ernie's first pic is why I do not use a modified gri-gri anymore. Knowing this, Mucci's setup looks to me like death on a stick. I've got $250 for a Silent Partner 10x over to get something like that off my mind.



No kidding! Add up the price of the Gri Gri plus the modification equipment (swages, chest harnesses, malion rapids, etc). Add this to the time it takes to make the modifications times your hourly wage (or the rough equivalent for salaried folks). Do this and you will realize that this a sketchy rip off compared to the Silent Partner. Plus, if you decide you don't actually like to solo (which maybe 40% of folks do), you can sell the Silent Partner. Who is going to buy some chopped up Gri Gri?

Oh, and if you need a rescue due to a Gri Gri solo failure, you might get charged for it. That is what $10,000-15,000? The Silent Partner is a comparative bargain.


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By "Pass the Pitons" Pete Zabrok
From Oakville, Ontario
Apr 5, 2010
Left to right - me, Sam Adams, Thomas Huber, Alex Huber

The Silent Partner is also huge and big and expensive and klunky, and offers no real benefit over an unmodified Grigri for aid soloing.

For free climbing soloing, I hear it's pretty good, even though it's huge and big and expensive and klunky.


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By Stever
From Squamish, BC
Apr 15, 2010
On the way to camp Schurman on Mt Rainier. Little Tahoma in the background

how does the Trango cinch compare to the gri-gri for this use? I have used neither but heard the rope moves through the cinch easier?


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By Stever
From Squamish, BC
Apr 24, 2010
On the way to camp Schurman on Mt Rainier. Little Tahoma in the background

Stever wrote:
how does the Trango cinch compare to the gri-gri for this use? I have used neither but heard the rope moves through the cinch easier?


Can anyone comment on this? There is a lot of people using the grigri over the cinch, is there any particular reason?

Thanks


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By Peter Stokes
From Them Thar Hills
Apr 24, 2010
Wall Street, Moab, UT

Stever wrote:
Can anyone comment on this? There is a lot of people using the grigri over the cinch, is there any particular reason? Thanks

I've tried the Cinch on lead solo, and found that it always locks up from the weight of the feed rope below as soon as I make a move upward- the spring that holds the Gri-Gri open makes that device work much better. For top rope soloing, I've found just the opposite- a Gri-Gri doesn't move up the rope nearly as well as a Cinch.


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By DFrench
From The Shrew, MA
Apr 24, 2010
Vervet Monkeys know which site is best.

+1 for the awesomeness of the Cinch in a TR solo setup (with an appropriate backup of course)

I've never tried it for lead soloing and probably never will.


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By Steve Powell
From Alhambra, California
May 1, 2010

A friend of mine uses two mini traxions for top rope soloing.
It's a sweet system. He has convinced me to go that way.


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By chris7
From San Diego, CA
May 24, 2010
Belaying

I have never heard of a grigri breaking in a big fall but could the cam pinch the rope enough to damage the rope?


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By milesnoell
Jan 3, 2011

Dan Osman used to use a grigri on his big rope-jumps. I can't imagine a bigger fall to test them on.


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By md3
Jan 3, 2011

The silent partner is a pain in many ways. The soloist works more like the modified gri gri shown above above, without the risk of catching the rope under the cam. With both the modified gri gri and the soloist you have to do back up knots. The soloist feeds smoothly and you can trust it catch a lead fall without cutting your rope, although you may go down to your back up knot if you are backwards at all. (You can release it and slide down the rope just by leaning back when top roping.) But you have to use at least a 10mm for the soloist.
I would be curious about other peoples experience with the silent partner. I found it would not work right (feed smoothly) without just the right diameter and age fuzzed rope. I also never got to where I felt comfortable going very far without the the occasional back up knot, which is much more cumbersome than with the soloist, and the supposed main advantage of the non- directional locking device anyway. If you are leading with the silent partner are you just forgoing backups?


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By Ed Wright
Jan 3, 2011
Magic Ed

As your attorney I recommend that you forget the gri-gri idea and spend a few bucks on a Soloist.


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