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Who uses a grigri to belay trad leaders?
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By Geir
From Tucson, AZ
Jun 4, 2012
Toofast
NC Rock Climber wrote:
Thanks Geir and Mattm. That is good information. If I am reading the Beal data correctly, some of the GriGri Impact force #s are 50% greater than the ATC type devices. To me, that is significant. It would be interesting to see how the Mammut Smart and the GriGri 2, both of which reputedly have a softer catch, would do in a similar test.


I was measuring differences of 1-2kN between the ATC and GriGri in real world tests, which is why I am mostly concerned about small or sketchy gear with the GriGri.

I can totally understand the desire to have a GriGri to help provide another layer of safety should the belayer be struck with a rock.

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Jun 4, 2012
Stoked...
Always use a gri gri or some auto locker... shit happens... and i would suspect a really soft catch can make all the difference in forces loaded during a fall.

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By BurtMachlan
Jun 4, 2012
S.Stelli wrote:
Id imagine there are at least two ways to rap with a gri... With only one rope, tie a knot in it with a biner, like an overhand or figure 8 on a bight, and rap on the opposite side. Same as if you had a tag line. Just tie em together and rap the rope side, pull the tag side down. This assumes there are bolts, or you are leaving gear/webbing for your raps.


Thanks.... I guess. I wasn't asking how to rappel with a gri gri though. I was more asking the other poster why he thought you couldnt rap with a gri gri.

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By S.Stelli
From Colorado Springs, CO
Jun 4, 2012
BurtMachlan wrote:
Thanks.... I guess. I wasn't asking how to rappel with a gri gri though. I was more asking the other poster why he thought you couldnt rap with a gri gri.


Maybe I should have quoted both you and DBarton, then... lol
Context is great - I meant no offense! I'm sure most people know how to rap with a Gri.

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By mattm
From TX
Jun 4, 2012
Grande Grotto
Bob Dobalina wrote:
I like belaying trad leaders with a GriGri because it allows me to pay out armloads of slack WAY faster and smoother than with an ATC, making those desperate clips easier.


Wow - That's the first time I've EVER read someone say a grigri is FASTER than an ATC....

What are you doing with the ATC that makes it so slow?

EDIT: Crap - that still reads a bit tool-ish. Not meant like that. I've just NEVER heard someone say throwing slack with a GriGri is faster than a tube device so I'm curious what's so different...

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By bearbreeder
Jun 4, 2012
mammut alpine smart ... supposedly theres a slight bit of rope slip to reduce the force on gear ...

either way i find it cheaper, lighter, more intuitive to use, and more rappellable than a gri gri

rock fall can be a serious concern with people above you ... you just never know ...

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By BurtMachlan
Jun 4, 2012
bearbreeder wrote:
ither way i find it cheaper, lighter, more intuitive to use, and more rappellable than a gri gri


curious as to what makes it more rappellable? I have never used one...

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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Jun 4, 2012
tanuki
People keep on bringing up the Smart as a great compromise. It looks really interesting, but has anyone actually done the tests to show that it creates less impact force than the GriGri?

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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Jun 4, 2012
OTL
BurtMachlan wrote:
curious as to what makes it more rappellable? I have never used one...


Slots for two rope strands.

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By Bob Dobalina
Jun 4, 2012
mattm wrote:
Wow - That's the first time I've EVER read someone say a grigri is FASTER than an ATC.... What are you doing with the ATC that makes it so slow? EDIT: Crap - that still reads a bit tool-ish. Not meant like that. I've just NEVER heard someone say throwing slack with a GriGri is faster than a tube device so I'm curious what's so different...

The "new" technique to pay out slack (using your thumb and middle/index fingers together to depress the cam) that comes with the GriGri 2 is SUPER slick! It works smoother and easier than the "yank, hold, yank" technique needed with ATC's. It feels like you are pulling the rope through a pulley.
Trust me, I was just a s surprised as you!

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By Peter Franzen
Administrator
From Phoenix, AZ
Jun 4, 2012
Belay
Andrew Haag wrote:
Seems like there is too many factors and variables to come up with an acurate Kn difference.

This is my feeling too. I outweigh my fiancee/belayer by around 60lbs. so even a tight belay with a Grigri becomes dynamic when I fall.

I also find that it's faster to pay out slack on a Grigri 2 than on an ATC; the origianal Grigri wasn't bad, but the new version is much better for lead belays. With the ATC you need both hands moving to feed the rope through, whereas on the Grigri 2 one hand holds it closed and the other can just yard out armfuls at a time.

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By DBarton
From CENTENNIAL, CO
Jun 4, 2012
Moab, Potash Road and Ice Cream Parlor
BurtMachlan wrote:
Thanks.... I guess. I wasn't asking how to rappel with a gri gri though. I was more asking the other poster why he thought you couldnt rap with a gri gri.


True, you can rap with a grigri, but you might get your rope stuck from the knot. Also the smart can be rigged two ways to rap (fast mode-backwards) and (locking mode-regular setup). And, in the event that you are a fair distance above the bottom of the rope, if you get clobbered by a rock, the smart will lock up and hold you (while in rap mode).

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By 1Eric Rhicard
Jun 5, 2012
It is a good sized roof. Photo: Jimbo
mattm wrote:
Wow - That's the first time I've EVER read someone say a grigri is FASTER than an ATC.... What are you doing with the ATC that makes it so slow? EDIT: Crap - that still reads a bit tool-ish. Not meant like that. I've just NEVER heard someone say throwing slack with a GriGri is faster than a tube device so I'm curious what's so different...


I have been climbing since 1975 and I can pay it our faster with a cinch or gri. Now you have heard it twice.

The difference is that an ATC creates a little bit of friction so yu have to use two hand to feed the rope. A properly used cinch or gri allows the rope to run smoothly. As was said I can give out two armloads very quickly and only short rope someone if there is a kink in the rope I don't get cleared fast enough.

Geir did real world tests on the two devices and as he said it was only a difference of 1-2 kN. So it only matters if you are on tiny gear.

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By Cultivating Mass
Jun 8, 2012
Leading on the only "fair means" rack.
Paraphrasing here...if you're mega-worried about your tiny nuts failing you in some mungy seam...don't use a french tickler, just air it out until the traffic's controlled?

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Jun 8, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.
Just like everything else, there are instances where you may prefer one over the other, or a certain set of circumstances will make one the obvious choice over the other.

If you can't give a soft catch- such as if you have a downward pull directional at a belay station that won't allow you to get pulled into a fall, you may want an ATC. Rock fall potential, you'll probably want a GriGri or a Cinch.

I don't think that it's black and white, one or the other. Climbers should be proficient at both and realize that drawbacks and advantages of both and be able to deploy them appropriately and efficiently.

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By mattm
From TX
Jun 9, 2012
Grande Grotto
1Eric Rhicard wrote:
I have been climbing since 1975 and I can pay it our faster with a cinch or gri. Now you have heard it twice. The difference is that an ATC creates a little bit of friction so yu have to use two hand to feed the rope. A properly used cinch or gri allows the rope to run smoothly. As was said I can give out two armloads very quickly and only short rope someone if there is a kink in the rope I don't get cleared fast enough. Geir did real world tests on the two devices and as he said it was only a difference of 1-2 kN. So it only matters if you are on tiny gear.


There was a post over on RC.com where Jim T. chimed in on various tests and impacts etc. The short answer is that the GriGri DOES provide a harder catch, anywhere from 30-50%.

There's a fair amount of drivel to start but Jim's posts further along have valuable info.

ATC vs GriGri post

Here's Jim's sutff
For a Grigri the slip appears to be around 3" for almost any length of fall, for the Cinch it is from virtually nothing up to lots of feet in a hardish fall (Iīve got some drop test results somewhere which are quite exciting in that respect).
For plates (ATCīs etc) the slip starts in feet and goes on up massively depending on impact, fall energy, belayer strength, number of runners, rope dia etc.

Plenty of tests on all this but as usual in German or Italian however outdoor testing with real belayers is quite difficult as the variables are all so large you donīt get much meaningful data and probably the conclusions would be misintepreted by the normal climber.

A big guy like me that bashes metal most of the time can get higher values with an ATC than a whippet-thin girlie with a Grigri anyway so its going to be hard to make any useful rule except:-
A Grigri hits harder than a plate all things being equal by about 30-50%.
The Cinch hits harder than anything on small falls but less than most in large falls.
Jumping in small falls is possibly worthwhile, in big ones itīs not.
Jumping is never as good as dynamically controlling the rope slip because as stated earlier the slip is measured in lots of feet and climbers donīt jump that well.
The peak force on the top runner occurs before the rope starts to slip through the device and to reduce this force you need to allow a lower initial slip value and then increase the breaking force which is why dynamic belaying is the way to go.
Force Factors are not particularly relevant, the length of the fall is. One can have a FF1 directly onto the belayer without any intermediate gear or a FF1.9 with 100 karabiners forcing the rope through such contortions that the belayer feels nothing. This is in fact why the Petzl calculator is useful as it allows for this to some extent.

Wear gloves.

Jim

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By NYClimber
From New York
Jun 25, 2012
Awesome slab climb right out of the water! Rogers Rock, Lake George, NY. Summer 2013.
I use a GriGri 2 for all my belaying now and don't even use my ATC any longer. I too feel that I can feel in or out of my GriGri faster than I could thru the ATC - but that's me. I too also like the fact that if I am ever inadvertently knocked unconscious by a rock or ice fall my partner wouldn't be in serious trouble with a slack rope.

I climb most all Trad and have had no problems with the GriGri at all.

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By John Shultz
From Osaka, Japan
Aug 18, 2012
Above the beautifully positioned routes at Makapuu. Oahu, HI.
This is an interesting thread.

+1 for using the grigri for trad

While rockfall on the belayer has been mentioned, another serious concern is that NOT A SINGLE slot device will allow you to hold a true factor two fall (e.g. a fall on the belay during multi-pitch). Petzl no longer has the warning against using it for trad.

Am I the only one to think that if your device is seriously slipping, that sketchy in and of itself? All the deep notches and teeth you see on slot devices now seem design to prevent slippage.

If you have a marginal placement, put a screamer on it. Use of screamers makes the difference for aid, where grigri are in standard use.

The pros way out way the cons.

Cheers from Osaka,

john

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By Geir
From Tucson, AZ
Aug 18, 2012
Toofast
John Shultz wrote:
This is an interesting thread. +1 for using the grigri for trad While rockfall on the belayer has been mentioned, another serious concern is that NOT A SINGLE slot device will allow you to hold a true factor two fall (e.g. a fall on the belay during multi-pitch). Petzl no longer has the warning against using it for trad. Am I the only one to think that if your device is seriously slipping, that sketchy in and of itself? All the deep notches and teeth you see on slot devices now seem design to prevent slippage. If you have a marginal placement, put a screamer on it. Use of screamers makes the difference for aid, where grigri are in standard use. The pros way out way the cons. Cheers from Osaka, john


Hey Jon,

I know of at two factor 2 falls that were caught on ATCs. In both cases the belayer got their hands pretty jacked up, but they caught the falls.

I have also seen cases of gear pulling when a GriGri was used for the belay that might have not pulled when using a tuber. This was impossible to confirm, though.

I think it comes down to using the right tools for the job. Sometimes I am ok with being belayed with a GriGri when I'm on gear. Most of the time I still prefer an ATC.

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By Scott Krankkala
Aug 18, 2012
Climbing Trail Creek
I was present while a climber took a 100' fall from the belay on the first pitch of the North Chimney of Castleton. His belayer was using a GriGri as four pieces of gear blew, launching him into shallow roof 15' off the deck. The belayers shoulder was separated and he was knocked unconcious as a result of the impact (he was wearing a helmet). The only thing that kept the leader off the deck (he stopped 5ft short of the ground) was his belayer getting jacked into the roof.

Did the GriGri put excessive force on the protection or was it simply just placed improperly, we won't be able to tell. Did the GriGri save both of them from far more serious injury, absolutely.

After this incident I have considered using my GriGri for lead belaying, although in most cases it is impractical and I just make the consideration of ground anchors. Nonetheless as a belayer it is important to consider your safety, think about what will happen in the case of a fall. Where will you end up? Are you prepared to catch a large fall? Should you be wearing a helmet? Is a brake-assist device appropriate etc. I have found that we often let our guard down while belaying as it seems the leader is the one taking the most risk.

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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Aug 18, 2012
tanuki
I'll post up on this again in hopes that someone can actually lay their hands on some data.

Does the Mammut Smart actually provide a softer catch than the Gri Gri and how does it compare to the ATC?

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By Jim Titt
From Germany
Aug 18, 2012
NC Rock Climber wrote:
I'll post up on this again in hopes that someone can actually lay their hands on some data. Does the Mammut Smart actually provide a softer catch than the Gri Gri and how does it compare to the ATC?


There are no tests of the braking characteristics of any of the assisted braking devics like the Smart, the SRC, ClickUp etc and more regrettable no information from the various manufacturers. The only tests on this kind of belay device where on the Camp YoYo (all these plates are fundamentally the same) which was described as hard!

Mammut themselves are somewhat vague on the subject "Because the belayer only needs to apply a small amount of force to lock the rope
completely in the belay device" or conversely "brakes the fall
dynamically, meaning that a small amount of rope slips through the device- gently braking the fall before the rope is finally locked in the device."
Pick whichever you prefer!

Iīd guess it was somewhere in the middle of a GriGri and an ATC.

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By climber pat
From Las Cruces, NM
Aug 18, 2012
I was bothered by the lack of friction and slippage with my 9.5mm dry rope with my ATC guide and bought a Mammut Smart Alpine, Climbing Technology Alpine Up (climbingtechnology.it/en-US/al..., and a metolius BRD( metoliusclimbing.com/brd_belay... to sample what is on the market these days.

The Climbing technology Alpine Up is by far the nicest of the group. Similar to the Smart Alpine but has a mode that resembles a normal tuber allowing the operator to select the type of belay to give. It really feeds rope nicely and locks superbly.

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By Jim Amidon
Aug 18, 2012
J TREE
Never do I use a Gri-Gri for trad.......

Too much weight,

Can't rappel..........

Single pitch sport it's great,

But for leaving the ground unless your walking off all the time...

NO.....

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By adampeters
From Golden, Colorado
Aug 18, 2012
<a href='http://lucasmarshall.com' target='_blank' rel='nofollow' >lucasmarshall.com</a> <br /> <br />snakewrangler
Always do I use a Gri-Gri for trad......

Not that much weight,

Can Rappel........

Single Pitch sport it's great,

And for leaving the ground even if you're walking off all the time...

YES....

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