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Mike_Buker

GriGri Self-Belay

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Has anyone used the Petzl GriGri as a self belay on top-rope? Any beta on technique? I used it on some easy stuff in Leavenworth, solo, but never really took a fall, other than a test from 10' up.

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I've used the gigri on easier climbs. Just pull the rope through every once and awhile and your golden. I've taken a few falls and the device always held. I still tie in short, however, just to give piece of mind.

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I have used the GriGri several times for self belaying on top rope and setting routes in the gym. One thing that I found works well is tying up all extra rope so that it is hanging a foot or so off of the ground. This typically provides enough weight to allow the GriGri to self feed so you can think about climbing instead of pulling up slack every three moves. Just keep in mind that it is really easy for your 'biner to get cross loaded in the event of a fall if there is slack in the system.

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I had a conversation about this a week or so ago with a buddy who has used the Gri-gri a lot for soloing - and I will note that I have not tried this myself, only other devices and clove hitches - but I had read that there was a problem with upside down falls causing the Gri-Gri not to lock up, and that there was some crazy modification people make to the device to fix this. He replied that he was too nervous to drill and file his Gri-gri, but his testing had shown that the upside down thing was only really a problem if you clip into a chest harness that holds the gri-gri's orientation-to-your-body constant. (A surprise to me, 'cause I always thought you used soloing devices *only* with a chest harness). He clipped the gri-gri into his waist just like a regular belay, so in a fall, it always orients itself correctly, even though the fall might be a little longer. He also noted that with all the crap on your harness etc, that it was possible that the gri-gri could be constrained and not function right - so backing up with a clove hitch is recommended. Like I said, I haven't tried this but I thought it was interesting information. YMMV.

oops, just reread the original post refers to toproping, my comment refers to solo-aid leading, upside down falls probably aren't much of a concern in a TR situation. But I'll leave it up 'cause it seems like interesting info...

[This message has been edited by forrest_m (edited 05-23-2001).]

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[This message has been edited by slaphappy (edited 05-23-2001).]

[This message has been edited by slaphappy (edited 05-23-2001).]

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quote:

Originally posted by slaphappy:I have top roped before using a grigri. I have fallen on it and it has always worked. I do not, however, trust it 100% and usually fix two lines and run an ascender up the other just in case. I have also seen people trail a petzl basic or an Ushba ascender on a longer runner below their grigri, while climbing a single strand. (The coiling of the rope off the ground is a fine idea, or try suspending your pack slightly off the ground, this works well also - a bit more weight)

Just a note, also having little to do with the original question, while aid soloing with my grigri my daisy chain rapped around the device holding the handle shut. The handle needs to "lift" for the Grigri to cam on the rope properly, if I had fallen (I did not) I don't think it would have stopped the fall. I have heard of people altering the handle to avoid this, although I would be reluctant to do such. (I also clipped in as a backup as I was not 100% confident in the grigri) Be Careful!

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Be carefull is right. Anytime you are relying on a complicated arrangement involving ropes and gadgets, watch out! I have rope soloed a few climbs myself and it's damn near as scary as aid climbing, if you ask me. However, on moderate terrain that is less than vertical, consider just tying knots to each successive piece and giving yourself enough leash to make it to the next visible stance. A prussik belay can offer some degree of pro as you proceed to that next stance. In the event of a fall, this system would place maximum stress on the top piece because there will effectively be no rope out, but there would be solid backup and the whole arrangement is simple and effective in the right situation.

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I will be on TR, not lead-how about a Petzl shunt, on a daisy chain attached to my harness, above the Gri-Gri? I plan on securing the rope at the bottom of the pitch.

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Petzl has a new gizmo called the Pro Traction. It is a replacement for their wall-hauler. The pulley has ball bearings, so it is suposed to be a lot better for hauling heavy loads.

Anyway, it also works fine for self belaying on TOP ROPE. Only on top rope. They also have a smaller one called the mini traction, which also works fine. Dave Havoc, the local petzl rep gave me the schpiel on them the other day.

Petzl recomends using either of these devices for top rope self belaying. I want the Pro for my heavy ass pig!

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One more thing, the word is that it is a bad Idea to use the grigri to self belay on lead.

GriGri's are the most static belay device on the market, and more static than a munter hitch. If you are leading some aid pitch on scetchy brass nuts, the impact force will be way up.

Better to use a clove hitch, and slid it along as you go. Clove hitches slip at about 4-6 hundred pounds, thus creating a more dynamic belay. Back it up with a figure eight of course.

All this info was givin to me by Charlie Fowler, AMGA guide, old schooler, bad ass.

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Since when does Petzl recommend using the Pro-Traxion or Mini-Traxion for toproping? There has been plenty of testing over the years regarding catching falls on ascender type devices. Generally in any type of fall the ascender "teeth" will tear the sheath and potentially do core damage. I'd be surprised if Petzl has changed their recommendation on this. Even if they have - I'm not going to be the first one to try it.

It sounds like Charlie Fowler has provided some of the most reasonable and sound advice.

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It's right there in the instruction manual. Go down to feathered friends and see for yourself. Read my post closely, the petzl rep. told me it was fine, he even said that he wouldn't bother backing it up.

[This message has been edited by lambone (edited 05-25-2001).]

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No more Gri-Gri! I bought an Ushba-thanks Patrick-I fell on that bastard about 20 times today. Holds fast and tight. No more searching for belay slaves for my inevitable hanging. Felt comfortable, even on heinous laybacking.

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