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To Gri Gri, or not to Gri Gri?
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By Finn the Human
From The Land of Ooo
Apr 29, 2012
Mathematical!
Oh hey Andrew, I didn't realize that was you.

Anyway, I'm not anti-Gri Gri by any means, it just has its trade offs, especially in an environment where people are just learning to climb (like at a gym).

I don't feel like getting into a huge argument about it, so I'll just say that while I am perfectly competent with a Gri Gri, I learned to belay with an ATC and that remains my belay device of choice.

Finally, a little food for thought:


(Don't be that guy)

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By Andrewprime1
From Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 29, 2012
Castleton Approach
Haha, I love that picture! Very true. I have always used a regular ATC, and I think I always will. Biner blocking kind of sucks and the "extendo rap" kind of sucks too, unless your only 40 meters off the deck... It still seems easier to just use my good old BD ATC guide.

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By Finn the Human
From The Land of Ooo
Apr 29, 2012
Mathematical!
Andrewprime1 wrote:
don't you have to use a trail line to get the rope back?


The biner block is best when you have to rap off a pitch that is longer than half the length of your rope. In that case it's totally reasonable. You could set up a biner block with a single rope by tying a few knots (overhand on a bight, figure 8 on a bight) around your middle mark, but the idea of going through all that extra work just so you can rap with your Gri Gri seems a little silly to me.

It could be handy if you somehow ended up in a tight spot (dropped your ATC, maybe?), but I certainly wouldn't act like it's a selling point of the Gri Gri.

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By Colonel Mustard
From Reno, NV
Apr 29, 2012
Colonel Mustard
Andrewprime1 wrote:
I don't know, I have seen a lot of people do absolutely retarded things in the gym, even good climbers/belayers get lazy inside. And for the thread in general, who cares if it's useless? I am entertained and I get to hear people's opinions on the Gri Gri. I have heard of this, but I have never seen it done. don't you have to use a trail line to get the rope back?


Sure, there's nothing wrong with exploring the ins and outs of the topic. A lot of the reactions just sound like unsubstantiated preference though.

As far as gym safety, empowering arbitrary rules does more to alienate climbers from staff than anything. I currently go to a gym that has a pretty cowboy, hands off ethic about the whole safety thing and there haven't been any belay accidents I've heard of in the year and a half I've been there. On the other hand, I'd been a regular customer of at least one "safety" minded gym that had some pretty severe accidents on its record. I'm not sure the gym nazi thing is correlated with actual improvements in safety. That's just my unsubstantiated opinion, however.

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By Finn the Human
From The Land of Ooo
Apr 29, 2012
Mathematical!
Old Custer wrote:
As far as gym safety, empowering arbitrary rules does more to alienate climbers from staff than anything. I currently go to a gym that has a pretty cowboy, hands off ethic about the whole safety thing and there haven't been any belay accidents I've heard of in the year and a half I've been there. On the other hand, I'd been a regular customer of at least one "safety" minded gym that had some pretty severe accidents on its record. I'm not sure the gym nazi thing is correlated with actual improvements in safety. That's just my unsubstantiated opinion, however.


If it makes you feel any better Custer, I think what it boils down to for our gym is the insurance policy the gym holds. It's not an arbitrary decision by the management, it's just simple fact that Gri Gri's create greater liability for the gym. Trust me, I don't like being the guy that has to tell people who have been climbing longer than I've been alive that they can't use their Gri Gri.

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By Keenan Waeschle
From Bozeman, MT
Apr 30, 2012
on top of the RNWF <br />June 2012
I was joking with the not paying attention to the climber comment, I guess ya'll missed that.

But yes, I never go aiding without a gri, and it makes sport belaying a lot more enjoyable.

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By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Apr 30, 2012
Taylor Ogden wrote:
If it makes you feel any better Custer, I think what it boils down to for our gym is the insurance policy the gym holds. It's not an arbitrary decision by the management, it's just simple fact that Gri Gri's create greater liability for the gym. Trust me, I don't like being the guy that has to tell people who have been climbing longer than I've been alive that they can't use their Gri Gri.


Nice thought, but its not true that gri-gri's create greater liability for gyms. Especially since, in the multitude of gyms i've been to, i've never heard of one that doesn't allow gri-gri's at all. Most require them for TR belay at a minimum.

As far as insurance goes, gym owners write their own safety policies and the insurer just insures them according to that policy. There is no insurer, as far as I am aware, that would require a gym owner to say no to gri-gri's from a safety standpoint.

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By Mark Mueller
From Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 30, 2012
Great quality rock on this one!
I know of a gym in Phoenix and one in LA that require an auto lock belay device and another in Phoenix that has gri gris already clipped to their top ropes. Personally I use the cinch for lead and tr belay and the atc guide for bringing up a second and rappelling. Cinch is so easy to use, fits my hand better and feeds rope like a dream. My preference and two cents.

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By bearbreeder
Apr 30, 2012
mammut alpine smart with a DMM Boa (you MUST use that biner) ... works as well as a gri gri, you can do more, 1/2 the price, 2/3 the weight ...

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By Andrew Mayer
Apr 30, 2012
top of mt. lady washington - rmnp
I recently sold my gri gri 1 here on MP for the inattention I found it brought to my belaying. Obviously this is me and not the belay device but I've found I just prefer a good ol' ATC guide that I can use for everything - cragging, multipitch, and ice climbing w/ frozen ropes.

Gri gris definitely have major benefits as well as obvious weaknesses. Just depends on what your looking for in your belay/rappel device. For me, it is an ATC guide.

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By Finn the Human
From The Land of Ooo
Apr 30, 2012
Mathematical!
John Wilder wrote:
Nice thought, but its not true that gri-gri's create greater liability for gyms. Especially since, in the multitude of gyms i've been to, i've never heard of one that doesn't allow gri-gri's at all. Most require them for TR belay at a minimum. As far as insurance goes, gym owners write their own safety policies and the insurer just insures them according to that policy. There is no insurer, as far as I am aware, that would require a gym owner to say no to gri-gri's from a safety standpoint.


Fair enough, that's just the explanation I was given, and I have had no reason to question it. I don't make the rules, I'm just the gym nazi that enforces them.

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By Colonel Mustard
From Reno, NV
Apr 30, 2012
Colonel Mustard
Taylor Ogden wrote:
Fair enough, that's just the explanation I was given, and I have had no reason to question it. I don't make the rules, I'm just the gym nazi that enforces them.


Fascist!

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By Jarmland
Apr 30, 2012
The only reason not to use a grigri is climbing on half ropes. Which is the way to go for most multipitch trad and ice routes, in my (and basically all other european's) opinion.

For everything else I use the grigri exclusively, absolutely love it!

I think it really excels on big walls though, for belaying and jugging/cleaning, handling pendulums and lower outs, as a rope solo device, as an adjustable tie in when setting up portaledge etc. However, somewhat paradoxically, it was designed for sport climbing..

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By Kiri Namtvedt
Apr 30, 2012
This may not be a situation many of you have to deal with, but as a slender woman who climbs with men who outweigh me by fifty pounds or more, the Gri Gri makes my belaying job SO much easier. Belaying a big guy with the ATC I have to work a lot harder to keep the rope from slipping if he's hangdogging.

That said, it's never an issue if I'm belaying my female climbing friends who are in my same weight class! ATC rocks.

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By Jarmland
Apr 30, 2012
See, there's another example how a grigri comes to good use.

Simply put, it's a great device that comes in handy in a multitude of situations and it's even the best tool for certain purposes from time to time. A climber should definately own one.

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Apr 30, 2012
Bocan
Keenan Waeschle wrote:
less chance of being dropped by your belayer, don't really have to pay attention to the climber. get it


I'm sure I'm the 100th person to jump on this, but that is exactly why I associate this valuable tool with sport climbing D-bags everytime I see it. Everytime I see someone at the gym or the crag doing everything but belaying I can expect to see they are using a gri-gri.

Which is too bad, as it is pretty advantageous.

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By Ian Stewart
Apr 30, 2012
Kiri Namtvedt wrote:
This may not be a situation many of you have to deal with, but as a slender woman who climbs with men who outweigh me by fifty pounds or more, the Gri Gri makes my belaying job SO much easier.


It's this reason that my wife always uses the Gri Gri when I'm sport climbing. When she's 110lbs and I'm 180lbs, anything to grab the rope a little quicker so she doesn't have to worry about it slipping as much is appreciated.

I only ever make a point of using the Gri Gri when I'm belaying somebody on a sport route that they'll likely be hanging on for a while. Multipitch I'll always grab the Reverso. Any other time, I'll use whatever I have closest to me.

As for gyms banning the use of Gri Gris, I agree that's pretty silly. I'd have a hard time believing that more accidents would happen with Gri Gris versus ATCs...

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Apr 30, 2012
Bocan
Ian Stewart wrote:
As for gyms banning the use of Gri Gris, I agree that's pretty silly. I'd have a hard time believing that more accidents would happen with Gri Gris versus ATCs...


It's not the device that causes the accidents, its the complacency the it helps develop (my opinion) and sometimes misuse of the device.

Not to say you can't belay poorly with an ATC, you absolutely can. But from what I've seen, there is to much reliance on the auto lock on the gri-gri, especially in the gym. I wouldn't want a number of those people belaying me. Just because the device has an "auto catch" doesn't mean I still don't want my belayer to be present.

And then again, correct use of the device is always important. ATC's are rather simple by design. IMO there's alot more room for operator error with a gri-gri.

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By BTLove
From Jackson, WY
Apr 30, 2012
What accidents have you seen (or heard of) that are attributed to the Grigri?

Inattention could obviously be an issue, but to what result? I could see short-roping someone, but have you seen someone dropped? or what other issues?

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By Ed Wright
Apr 30, 2012
Magic Ed
I love my gri-gri. In fact, I prolly wouldn't be alive if it weren't for a gri-gi coming through when my partner was knocked out cold.

Besides all the uses already mentioned, I've found the gri-gri works great as a locking pulley for hauling medium-weight loads and for setting up tyrolen traverses.

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By DexterRutecki
From Cincinnati, Ohio
Apr 30, 2012
BTLove wrote:
What accidents have you seen (or heard of) that are attributed to the Grigri? Inattention could obviously be an issue, but to what result? I could see short-roping someone, but have you seen someone dropped? or what other issues?


It is pretty common for people to use the gri gri incorrectly by taking their brake hand off the rope and using it to depress the cam to pay out slack quickly... When someone falls off many belayers natural reaction is to hold on tight which deactivates the cam mechanism...

Lots of people have been dropped in this manner. At least 2 or 3 I can think of right off the top of my head.

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By Keenan Waeschle
From Bozeman, MT
Apr 30, 2012
on top of the RNWF <br />June 2012
I feed out slack by depressing the cam with my right hand and throwing out a loop of rope with my left. Have yet to drop anyone. if they come off I'll drop my right hand to the brake side and pull in the loop of the slack I just fed out as they fall. a gentile hop provides a soft catch. you can't blame the device if you're such a moron that you just clamp down on the cam, with rope wizzing by an inch from your finger. I can provide a totally bomber belay with minimal thought or mental input.

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By DexterRutecki
From Cincinnati, Ohio
Apr 30, 2012
Keenan Waeschle wrote:
I feed out slack by depressing the cam with my right hand and throwing out a loop of rope with my left. Have yet to drop anyone. if they come off I'll drop my right hand to the brake side and pull in the loop of the slack I just fed out as they fall. a gentile hop provides a soft catch. you can't blame the device if you're such a moron that you just clamp down on the cam, with rope wizzing by an inch from your finger. I can provide a totally bomber belay with minimal thought or mental input.


Yeah.... and whats your point? You want a gold star for belaying correctly???

I was simply telling the poster the way most people get dropped with a grigri, try to follow along with the adults Keenan. Shouldnt you be watching nickelodeon or somethin???

Keenan Waeschle wrote:
I can provide a totally bomber belay with minimal thought or mental input.


and probably a good thing considering you dont have much "mental input" to start with...

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By Colonel Mustard
From Reno, NV
Apr 30, 2012
Colonel Mustard
It gets better and better. A solid belay is a solid belay. Whether you give it to me with a munter, a hip belay, a grigri, or a ATC, I don't really care. If you're hung up on paraphrasing a bunch of really dangerous stuff you heard about the gri gri on the internet from equally gumby climbers, you should stick to the scared leaders' club you have clearly joined.

Beer Belay
Beer Belay


Beer belay, m'er f'er!

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By dsmit
From Flagstaff, Az
May 1, 2012
Climbing the edge.
DexterRutecki wrote:
and probably a good thing considering you dont have much "mental input" to start with...

Ohhhh Dammmnnnn, Buurrrrrrnnnnnnn!!!!

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