We're hiring an experienced UX Designer to join us in Boulder, CO.
Mountain Project Logo

Cat knots while ascending with a GriGri 2:1?

Original Post
Sam Keller · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 30


Looking to clarify something about ascending a rope with a GriGri on a 2:1.

I recently took a test for work where I had to convert to ascend to pick off a distressed climber.

I rigged a 2:1 with a gri gri and a friction hitch. The proctor failed me on a safety violation because I took my hand off the setup for a second to attach the ATC to my gear loop....

I jug all the time with this configuration on walls. I don't usually even use cat knots as the ascender and gri-gri work together as a backup....

Should I be? Is an ascender above a gri-gri a good backup?

Because I was taking a test I did use cat knots while ascending, even though I didn't feel it was necessary....

My claim was that if something catastrophic were to happen i would easily be able to hold onto the rope.... I can't even really think of a situation where a properly loaded prussic connected to a harness and a properly loaded gri-gri would fail....

Any thoughts?

Ross Ayer · · Southington, CT · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 60

I took a CWI class, and it was taught that the GriGri requires a backup knot. An in line overhand will do, and should be tied every 5' or so to prevent a longer fall if the GriGri fails. The prusik most likely will not fail, but a knot only takes a few seconds to tie, and may save your life. I use this process for setting as well (swap an ascender for the prusik), and I still tie knots.

eli poss · · Durango, Co · Joined May 2014 · Points: 456

Yer gonna die!

But, in all seriousness, an ascender + grigri is fine. I would route backup knots but that's personal preference. On a certification or other test, that's not going to fly because of the institutional setting. Also, they typically want to see how well you can put on a smile and jump through hoops

Rob Warden...Space Lizard · · Between Zion, Vegas, LA, an… · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 115

Sam... it's only a requirement for the test. The grigri going to the ropes core, in my opinion personally (which is different from passing this test) negates the need for any cat knot. This is both for ascending and for transferring.

When I use that setup I don't tie knots.

When I take that test. I do tie knots.

Why, because they said so... I think k what we are talking about is two separate issues.

A reason to tie knots is that we are adding. The complications of a second injured person who is capable of both shock loading and disrupting the system.

Minus that the system stands as the benchmark ascending system with contact to the core.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply