GriGri marked a major step in the evolution of belay devices with its release in 1991: Here was a device that empowered climbers to catch falls with little effort, while simultaneously providing a belayer with a method to lower his partner effortlessly. As soon as they began using this device incorrectly, belay slaves rejoiced, but accidents began happening. Petzl has been working to educate users, but it is difficult to dislodge the bad habits of devotees, and with the release of Grigri 2 in 2011, it is more necessary than ever to learn (and teach) proper techniques for this ubiquitous device.
It is much more challenging to belay at a crag than it is indoors. Ground that is uneven, rocks that fall, strong sunlight, wind, insects, stray children and dogs are just some of the factors that complicate the task.
It is possible to use any belay system for sport climbing, though using an assisted-braking belay system (such as the Petzl GriGri) is the most common. GriGri is similar to a seatbelt in a car. Slowly pulling the rope through helps prevent it from catching, but moving the rope too quickly (for instance, if a climber falls) causes a cam to rotate, pinching the rope. This makes it easier to hold on to the fall. Holding a climber for a few minutes while they rest requires much less effort.
GriGri devices are not auto-locking; you still need to hold the brake rope at all times, just as you would with a normal belay device. A thinner rope, a light climber or rope drag on the route are all factors that contribute to rope drag. Even though the GriGri can be used safely, accidents have occurred due to improper use.
Ropes of the following diameters are designed to be used with the GriGri. Be sure you are using a rope that is suitable for your device.
Different assisted-braking belay devices have different specifications. Before using the product, check the instructions provided by the manufacturer. If you want to know the difference between GriGri and ATC, then you need to check out this article.
This Is How It Works
It’s a cam inside the Grigri (plus a part of the body) that gives it its holding power. The cam engages when the rope moves rapidly through the device (as in a fall), which keeps the rope from moving (A).
How To Use GriGri
The primary belaying position-The Grigri should be used in the same way as a tube-type device. You should never let go of the brake rope. Belay a toprope, allowing a little slack to be fed at a time (as the climber moves up). In case of a fall, lock off the rope in front of you with the climber down. While the Grigri’s cam can carry most or all of the load, you’ll also need a brake hand to help. The cam engages more rapidly when the brake end is pulled down.
Fast feeding of slack- Trying to give a lot of rope at once may cause the cam to engage, stopping the rope from moving. This can be very irritating when your leader pulls rope up quickly to clip. You should anticipate the leader’s clipping and start feeding rope before she yanks it. You can switch temporarily from one position to another with thicker ropes or quick clips. Place your thumb over the back edge of the black handle and your pointer finger under the lip on the right side of the handle while keeping three fingers of your brake hand wrapped around the rope. By pushing up with your pointer while your thumb is pressing down on the cam, you’ll momentarily disable the locking mechanism and pull out slack with your left hand. Once you’re done paying out rope, you will need to get back to your original belaying position. Immediately lock your brake hand on to the rope if the leader falls while your brake hand is still on the Grigri.
Lowering– Pull out the black handle slowly by holding the rope in one hand and the rope in the other. As you begin to feel resistance, keep pulling back slightly. If you lift the handle all the way, the camming mechanism will be disengaged and you could lose control, especially if the climber is heavier than you. Let go of the handle and lock off with the brake end if the climber gets out of control while lowering.
- Backward loading the Grigri. To check whether the device is properly locked, tug the rope on the climber’s end.
- Keeping hold of the device. Whenever you get shocked or surprised you tend to grab an object tightly, and if you’re grasping the Grigri, you may accidentally lock it.
- Falling and grabbing the rope of the climber. By doing so, the device will not fully engage due to the reduced pull.
- Failure to keep the brake end in your hand. There is no hands-free with Grigri. It is an assisted-braking system. At least four conditions might prevent Grigri’s cam from engaging fully:
- super-skinny ropes;
- light climbers;
- routes with bulges or significant rope drag that reduce fall forces; and
- hanging on the rope (versus falling) mid-route.
- When he locks off with his brake hand, the belayer sometimes needs to step back or sit down in order to help the cam engage.
- The device can be damaged by dirt, sand, and heavy use, as they can with any gear. If the Grigri develops sharp edges or the cam does not run smoothly, it should be retired.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Can you rappel with a GRIGRI?
This is a most commonly asked question and the answer to this will be that yes you can rappel with a GriGri.
Is self belay safe?
In addition to contributing to climbing safety, the Self Belay also helps climbing gym operations by reducing the number of staff members.
Can you self belay with a GRIGRI?
The fact that some people use the GRIGRI as a self-belay device cannot be ignored. A number of internet sites offer tips for modifying your device to use it for this purpose. Most importantly, this method increases climbing risks. It is forbidden to self-belay with the GRIGRI.
Can you use a GRIGRI for top rope?
Yes you can absolutely use GriGri for top rope but to know more about how to use GriGri in top rope, you need to check out this video.