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home testing for rope solo falls: Revo / Eddy / Grigri


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scott.f · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 0

Just got my hands on the Wild Country Revo and the Edelrid Eddy and were comparing them for purposes of lead rope solo.

Did some simple 'tests' at home (in a two story open entryway, tying off to the rail) on a the distance one would travel along the rope in a fall before the three devices lock up - a) with the anchor overhead (essentially a top-rope solo situation, though these devices aren't made for that); b) in a lead fall.

Conducted using a 25 pound weight in a backpack clipped to the belay device attached to a 9.8 rope.

The results for the first test - anchor overhead, top-rope type situation - done over 5 tries:
-- Grigri locks up immediately (no surprise)
-- Revo locks up after about 3-4 feet of sliding down the rope.
-- Eddy locks up 5-6 feet of sliding down the rope.

Second test - lead fall - conducted only once.
Tested the Revo and Eddy for approximately 6 ft factor 2 fall (3 ft above the anchor).  Happily, both the Revo and the Eddy locked up almost immediately - there was perhaps 1 ft of slippage (sliding further down the rope after the rope came taut before locking up).  Didn't bother with the grigri - clearly it would lock up immediately.

My main two takeaways:
-- I had seen some initial reports here of the Revo locking up after about 3 ft falls.  That's consistent with my finding from the first test, but actually the second test was more reassuring - in a more typical lead fall scenario, there was very little delay because at the point the rope catches; in even this short fall scenario, you would be going basically close to or above the Revo's speed for locking up (4 m per second) by the time the rope comes taut.
-- The Eddy, which I have not used in the field yet but which has many positive reviews for years now for rope solo, worked fine too, though I was a bit disappointed in the apparently long time it took to lock up in a top rope type situation.  Has anyone else found this to be the case?  Perhaps not the most important consideration, but it is a situation one would encounter if falling close to bolts just clipped etc. and possibly also in more lower angle climbing where it might take slightly longer to generate fall speed, though my test couldn't cover such a situation.

Josh Landis · · Millville · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 5
  1. Your tests are for a 25lb person. The eddy will lock up almost instantly in a TR fall.
scott.f · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 0
Josh Landis wrote:
  1. Your tests are for a 25lb person. The eddy will lock up almost instantly in a TR fall.

It's not obvious to me how the weight should matter to this, as long as it is heavy enough to smoothly pull the device down the rope with minimal friction.  Could you explain further?

Did a bit more 'testing' this morning - (haha - it's raining near Seattle, what else to do, what else is new).
-- I repeated the TR-style drop test on the Eddy this morning six times, and got weird results on the 9.8 mm rope, again with the 25 pound backpack attached.  The lock-up length was all over the place this time, from 2 ft to -- (twice out of the six times) -- the bag completely decking after a 7 ft free fall.  I am at a loss to explain how a properly threaded Eddy could fail to deploy twice like that after a 7 ft fall (and it was a quite fast - a quick and straight drop right to the floor).  Does anyone have a clue to offer about this?  This was super non-confidence inspiring.  I can't see how weight explains this failure to lock-up.
-- I then tested the same setup using my somewhat aging-but-not-frayed Mammut Supersafe 10.1 mm rope.  Totally different - locked up every time instantly with this rope.  So is it the diameter of the rope that is the key?  Such a huge diff between 9.8 and 10.1 mm?  Would appreciate any thoughts on this.  It that's all it takes to solve the mystery -- use 10 mm + rope with the Eddy rope soloing - I'd be relieved but still a bit surprised.

Forrest Halley · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2018 · Points: 0

Hi,
So the diameter of the rope has everything to do with lockup. The various devices, due to their design, will have an optimum rope diameter for maximum lockup efficiency/effectiveness. All the devices have an optimal working range of rope diameter. Grigri 2 has a diagram on the brake side with stars ratings. The other devices'  design specs can be found in the large piece of folded paper that you probably threw away first off...I know I did...so I downloaded from the manufacturer's website.

I have a 7mm static line that I use to practice belay techniques. I'm working on being ambidextrous with all my devices and development of muscle memory for lead belaying as well. I have set up a belay simulator and I was using about 25-30# of weight on the line. I found that simulation of various fall lengths experienced varied results. I was using a static line so the force would be higher on the device than a comparable dynamic. I was also using a rope that was suboptimal diameter. The 25-30# of weight doesn't cam the Grigri 2 all that well, but my weight will cause it to fully cam. Spring pressure has to be overcome or else the device wouldn't be open for feeding slack. The ATC Pilot does really well with the smaller line and light weight, but there are no moving parts. It stops well in the assist mode, but the smaller the rope the further the device has to travel to work. Eventually the travel needed will exceed the limitations of the carabiner hole or the diameter of the feed hole and the assist is defeated. The Reverso 2 (ATC guide model) doesn't seem to care about diameter and will stop with minimal run-out, but there's no assistance there.

I hope this helps and I realize that I'm not doing the same thing as you. Perhaps you can try more weight? 50-75#?

scott.f · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 0
Forrest Halley wrote: Hi,
So the diameter of the rope has everything to do with lockup. The various devices, due to their design, will have an optimum rope diameter for maximum lockup efficiency/effectiveness. All the devices have an optimal working range of rope diameter. Grigri 2 has a diagram on the brake side with stars ratings. The other devices'  design specs can be found in the large piece of folded paper that you probably threw away first off...I know I did...so I downloaded from the manufacturer's website.

I have a 7mm static line that I use to practice belay techniques. I'm working on being ambidextrous with all my devices and development of muscle memory for lead belaying as well. I have set up a belay simulator and I was using about 25-30# of weight on the line. I found that simulation of various fall lengths experienced varied results. I was using a static line so the force would be higher on the device than a comparable dynamic. I was also using a rope that was suboptimal diameter. The 25-30# of weight doesn't cam the Grigri 2 all that well, but my weight will cause it to fully cam. Spring pressure has to be overcome or else the device wouldn't be open for feeding slack. The ATC Pilot does really well with the smaller line and light weight, but there are no moving parts. It stops well in the assist mode, but the smaller the rope the further the device has to travel to work. Eventually the travel needed will exceed the limitations of the carabiner hole or the diameter of the feed hole and the assist is defeated. The Reverso 2 (ATC guide model) doesn't seem to care about diameter and will stop with minimal run-out, but there's no assistance there.

I hope this helps and I realize that I'm not doing the same thing as you. Perhaps you can try more weight? 50-75#?

Hi Forrest, thanks for the message.  Yep, I can see the diameter matters a lot with the Eddy.  What surprised me with the Eddy is that it is approved for 9 to 11 mm ropes, so why there should be such a huge difference in the speed of lockup from 9.8 to 10.2 mm is still something I'm unclear about.  Again, the scary thing was it was free falling in some of the tests with the 9.8 rope from 7 ft and decking - without having locked at all.  What's going on there??

For the Revo, it's not clear that rope diameter matters.  It might, but it could also be that lockup, within the approved range of ropes, depends on speed alone.

Josh Landis · · Millville · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 5
scott.f wrote:

It's not obvious to me how the weight should matter to this, as long as it is heavy enough to smoothly pull the device down the rope with minimal friction.  Could you explain further?  

The eddy requires friction to engage, 25lbs might not be enough, also make sure you're feeding your eddy right. I use a 9.8 edelrid boa eco and it locks up no problem. 

Tim Meehan · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 285

Thanks for posting your results, Scott!

Forrest Halley · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2018 · Points: 0
scott.f wrote:

Hi Forrest, thanks for the message.  Yep, I can see the diameter matters a lot with the Eddy.  What surprised me with the Eddy is that it is approved for 9 to 11 mm ropes, so why there should be such a huge difference in the speed of lockup from 9.8 to 10.2 mm is still something I'm unclear about.  Again, the scary thing was it was free falling in some of the tests with the 9.8 rope from 7 ft and decking - without having locked at all.  What's going on there??

For the Revo, it's not clear that rope diameter matters.  It might, but it could also be that lockup, within the approved range of ropes, depends on speed alone.

Hi Scott,

That's bizarre that it wants to be picky about half a milimeter. Seven feet sounds like it has one option...lock up or deck. No room for deceleration due to drag. Is it decking hard or is it decelerated noticeably? What about your ropes? Notice a difference in texture or softness of the core? I'm thinking one may be slicker than the other due to not expanding under load to fill the cam grooves as well. 
The Revo sounds like a seatbelt catch with a tuber built around it. I saw a guy using one at the gym. It reminds me of fly fishing. 
scott.f · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 0
Forrest Halley wrote:

Hi Scott,

That's bizarre that it wants to be picky about half a milimeter. Seven feet sounds like it has one option...lock up or deck. No room for deceleration due to drag. Is it decking hard or is it decelerated noticeably? What about your ropes? Notice a difference in texture or softness of the core? I'm thinking one may be slicker than the other due to not expanding under load to fill the cam grooves as well.
The Revo sounds like a seatbelt catch with a tuber built around it. I saw a guy using one at the gym. It reminds me of fly fishing. 

When it decks, it decks hard, with no noticeable deceleration.  The 9.8 mm rope is not new but it is considerably newer and with a smoother texture than the 10.2 mm one (not 10.1 as I wrote earlier).

Yes it's a puzzle.  The Eddy is friction activated.  Possibility #1 noted by others: the weight wasn't enough.  But in what sense would it not be enough?  If the bag is dropping quickly and smoothly down the rope, how does that rapid increase in speed not generate enough friction?  Possibility #2: maybe the way the bag was positioned relative to the belay device, and dropped in a straight line down, didn't trigger the right kind of friction?  But - surely these devices are supposed to lock up irrespective of the positioning?  Possibility #3: the rope is too small - but the Eddy is rated for 9-11 mm and clearly many people use it at 9.8 mm.  One thing I'm sure is that I threaded it correctly (and it caught other times, just decked 2/6 times).

The only thing I can think to do is go try it in the field with a backup knot, using both ropes!  Will report back when I do, probably tomorrow if the rain stops!
Febs · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 5

How did it go? :-D

SeƱor Arroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

How's your stairway rail liking all of this?

scott.f · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 0

Hey all, sorry for the delay in responding.  False alarm on the Eddy - which won’t surprise many people.  The testing I did on it at home did show what I wrote above (the frequent failure to lock up on a 9.7 mm rope in a drop-straight-down scenario with 25 pounds attached) and I still can’t explain that 100% except that it makes sense that maybe it is friction as others have said and 25 pounds wasn’t enough to activate that friction reliably.  But in the wild, I haven’t had any problem getting the Eddy to catch, whether on a top-rope type fall or lead fall.  Feels bomber.  I’m no longer worried about this (beyond having a backup knot strategy when lead soloing of course).

I have done more lead soloing with the Wild Country Revo than the Eddy - and I like it.  Seems to feed even more smoothly than the Eddy (has locked up fewer times when I didn’t want it to).  On a proper lead fall, it will lock up within a foot or two of the rope coming taught.  That extends to 3-4 ft if you are falling in a top-rope type situation.

Febs · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 5

thank you for the update Scott!

scott.f wrote: I have done more lead soloing with the Wild Country Revo than the Eddy - and I like it.  Seems to feed even more smoothly than the Eddy (has locked up fewer times when I didn’t want it to).  On a proper lead fall, it will lock up within a foot or two of the rope coming taught.  That extends to 3-4 ft if you are falling in a top-rope type situation.

I'm unsure if I got that right though. Do you mean that the WCR is as safe in locking as the Eddy, but feeds even better?

thanks :-D
Healyje · · PDX · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 456

Diameter, sheath weave, coating, and stiffness all play into how well a rope works with the Eddy.

I tried a few different ropes before settling on the 9.9 Maxim Glider which I also replace every year.

Grandpa Dave · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 5

"...So is it the diameter of the rope that is the key?  Such a huge diff between 9.8 and 10.1 mm?  Would appreciate any thoughts on this.  It that's all it takes to solve the mystery..."

I'd guess it has more to do with the condition (fuzziness?) of the rope sheath of the two ropes. Diameter could also influence these results, I would guess. I'm quite interested in this as I've tried several methods of top rope solo methods over the past couple of years, and none have been significantly satisfactory. I briefly visited with a guy doing this at "The Columns" in Eugene, OR a couple years ago, and I wish I had taken more time to study his method. He was using a Petzl ascender and something else. Very minimal setup, quick to put together, but I don't recall now just what/how he was doing it.

My biggest stumbling block is the need to weight the rope so that whatever ascending device I'm using actually "ascends" instead of partially dragging the rope up for the first few feet. He wasn't doing anything like tying off the loose end that I recall, so I *really* wish I knew what method he was using.

Carry on!

Healyje · · PDX · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 456
Grandpa Dave wrote: I briefly visited with a guy doing this at "The Columns" in Eugene, OR a couple years ago, and I wish I had taken more time to study his method. 
I wouldn't use any of these three devices for TR solo and only use the Grigri for Aid Soloing.

For lead rope soloing it's pretty much between the Eddy and Revo at this point.
Febs · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 5

holy crap I got a 9.2 mm rope. Did you ever try with such a thin one? Thanks :-D

scott.f · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 0
Febs wrote: holy crap I got a 9.2 mm rope. Did you ever try with such a thin one? Thanks :-D

Hi Febs,

There's another post on this that was using 9.2 with the WC Revo: https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/113906682/lead-rope-solo-review-of-wild-country-revo.  Seems this works fine. and that mis potentially an advantage to using the Revo over the Eddy (can use thinner ropes).  I am pretty sure you DON'T want to be using such a thin rope for the Eddy.  I bet it wouldn't work reliably for that purpose (lead rope solo).  
scott.f · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 0
Grandpa Dave wrote: "...So is it the diameter of the rope that is the key?  Such a huge diff between 9.8 and 10.1 mm?  Would appreciate any thoughts on this.  It that's all it takes to solve the mystery..."

I'd guess it has more to do with the condition (fuzziness?) of the rope sheath of the two ropes. Diameter could also influence these results, I would guess. I'm quite interested in this as I've tried several methods of top rope solo methods over the past couple of years, and none have been significantly satisfactory. I briefly visited with a guy doing this at "The Columns" in Eugene, OR a couple years ago, and I wish I had taken more time to study his method. He was using a Petzl ascender and something else. Very minimal setup, quick to put together, but I don't recall now just what/how he was doing it.

My biggest stumbling block is the need to weight the rope so that whatever ascending device I'm using actually "ascends" instead of partially dragging the rope up for the first few feet. He wasn't doing anything like tying off the loose end that I recall, so I *really* wish I knew what method he was using.

Carry on!

Hey Grandpa Dave, you're describing top rope soloing whereas this thread relates to lead rope solo.

For toprope solo you can use a microtraxion with an ascender backup - Petzl has very clear instructions here, and the system works great: https://www.petzl.com/US/en/Sport/General-principles-for-solo-climbing-with-a-fixed-belay-rope.  (I don't use two ropes as I think they recommend though.  The climbing rope is almost never redundant in climbing systems anyway, so seems a bit overkill to me.  Just have to be super sure to back up the primary belay device you'll use with another, that the anchor is bomber (usually bolts), the rope is in good condition and not too small-diameter (if you're setting it up for top rope solo purposes only and never leading on it, consider a 10.5+mm static rope; otherwise something like a 9.8 mm+ dynamic rope will do fine), and that you watch the system carefully to ensure there is never any slack building up (don't want to take anything like a lead fall on this top rope belay system).

It's a piece of cake to weight the rope for top rope soloing - don't let this be a stumbling block.  In most cases, a medium size water bottle, approach shoes, small backpack - any of these will do the trick.  I usually clove hitch any of those to the bottom (about 3-4 feet from the ground).  And if you don't weight the rope, you just have to pay attention to pull the slack through for the first 15 feet or so, before there is enough rope underneath you to provide sufficient weight.  Good luck - and always use a backup device as per the Petzl instructions!  Cheers.
scott.f · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 0
Febs wrote: thank you for the update Scott!

I'm unsure if I got that right though. Do you mean that the WCR is as safe in locking as the Eddy, but feeds even better?

thanks :-D

Hi Febs, sorry for the delay in responding.

Yes that's exactly what I meant.  My impression is that it feeds better than the Eddy for a broader range of ropes - certainly for smaller diameter ropes.  On the other hand the system Healyje has worked out and described very helpfully for the Eddy seems to feed super well too - just have to make sure the rope / Eddy combo is a good one, I guess.  And I haven't had any problem with either locking locking up in practice (as opposed to my mini-pseudo experiment which motivated this post).  So... they both seem great and I can't really point definitively to one over the other for myself at the moment.  My initial comparison, while liking both:

Eddy: feels somehow more bomber as a piece of gear (subjective) - it is after all a pretty big hunk of steel!  Don't have to carry a grigri to descend. Can lock it off easily at the bolt if you wish (to rest), locks up quickly / immediately for toprope-type fall.  But: need to match the rope carefully.
Revo: less likely to lock up unexpectedly, lighter than Eddy, can use with smaller diameter ropes. But: won't lock up immediately in toprope fall-type situation (takes about 3 ft to gain the 4 m per second speed necessary to lock up - though this happens almost immediately once the rope comes taught in a lead fall situation)
Febs · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 5
scott.f wrote:

Hi Febs, sorry for the delay in responding.

Yes that's exactly what I meant.  My impression is that it feeds better than the Eddy for a broader range of ropes - certainly for smaller diameter ropes.  On the other hand the system Healyje has worked out and described very helpfully for the Eddy seems to feed super well too - just have to make sure the rope / Eddy combo is a good one, I guess.  And I haven't had any problem with either locking locking up in practice (as opposed to my mini-pseudo experiment which motivated this post).  So... they both seem great and I can't really point definitively to one over the other for myself at the moment.  My initial comparison, while liking both:

Eddy: feels somehow more bomber as a piece of gear (subjective) - it is after all a pretty big hunk of steel!  Don't have to carry a grigri to descend. Can lock it off easily at the bolt if you wish (to rest), locks up quickly / immediately for toprope-type fall.  But: need to match the rope carefully.
Revo: less likely to lock up unexpectedly, lighter than Eddy, can use with smaller diameter ropes. But: won't lock up immediately in toprope fall-type situation (takes about 3 ft to gain the 4 m per second speed necessary to lock up - though this happens almost immediately once the rope comes taught in a lead fall situation)

Very helpful sum-up, thanks :-)

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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