/ grigri for Trad.

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Choss on 21 Dec 2013
See number 7 on the List on here:

http://www.geir.com/mythbuster.html

Would you say the grigri makes a poor Choice for Belaying Trad on Lime?

The reason i ask is because im still Looking for a good device for my Daughter to use, who even Though 16 is considerably Lighter than me. Tried mega Jul, neither she nor i Liked it. Thinking of a giving a grigri a try.

wiwwim - on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:

get back under your bridge
Bob on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:

The Gri-Gri wouldn't be on my list of trad belaying devices. Remember it's single rope only so it would be no good if you were using double ropes as is typical on trad.

I assume that you are considering single pitch here with your daughter stood on the ground? The simplest solution is to get her to be tied in to something solid as if she were on a stance on a multi pitch route.



Choss on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Bob:
Single, and multi Pitch. An Assisted Belay device would give us both a bit more Confidence When shes belaying.

The Link i Posted would seem to suggest there is some reason to Question the grigris Use on Trad?
Post edited at 07:41
Choss on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to wiwwim:

> get back under your bridge

Not Until the fat billy comes by.

Whats Trolling about asking peoples Advice on assisted Braking? I still Use a Sprung plate, and a bug.
sean1 - on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:

Have you considered the Alpine up? It covers everything that you require. I have one and can highly recommend them.
Bob on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:

The Gri-Gri puts too much force in to the rest of the system, hence why it isn't recommended for trad.

The answer you are looking for is simply use an extra krab between device and harness, this increases the friction in the system when under load as it forces the rope(s) to pass through tighter bends.
Choss on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to sean1 and bob:

Both good Suggestions. I will have a Look at the alpine up next Time im in dicks. Heavy on the pocket. will also try the 2 krabs, see how much Friction that adds.

Looking over UKC Gear items, seems they Recommend the alpine up as best when there is a big weight difference.

I could always just tie bags of sand to her harness as ballast ;-)

jezb1 - on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Bob:

> The answer you are looking for is simply use an extra krab between device and harness, this increases the friction in the system when under load as it forces the rope(s) to pass through tighter bends.

I would have guessed the opposite would be true? Two krabs, less of a sharp bend, less friction? Never tried it though so I don't know.
Bob on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:

Here's what I mean about the second krab http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=167 scroll down to the part headed "I'm nearly out of control! How do I slow things down?"
Bob on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to jezb1:

You can use a second krab in two ways:

1. Place it between the device and the main krab. This reduces friction.
2. Double up the main krab with the rope(s) going through both. This increases friction.

See this page http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=167 for both methods.
Choss on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Bob:

Another way to increase friction used to be to Turn a tuber Type device Round the wrong way. Dont Know if thats still recommended anymore?

jezb1 - on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Bob:

I'll have to try because my little brain can't see the why there's a different result between the two ways of having the second krab in. I'll have to go and do some experiential learning!
Choss on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to sean1:

Assuming youve used a grigri as well, is the autolock on the alpine up not as sharp as the grigri?
cuppatea on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:

Am I alone in thinking that the tiny amount of slip that may happen in a tube device reduces the shock loading during a leader fall by such a tiny amount that DMM couldn't measure it on their drop test rig?

Have any tests ever been done?

If there was a large enough amount of slip that would help dissipate some of the shock load then perhaps we'd see a lot more dropped leaders due to the belayer burning their hands.

Bob on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to jezb1:

Putting the krab between the device and the main kran increases the distance between them so the bends that the rope has to go through are less severe. Putting the second krab parallel to the main krab means that when the rope comes tight then it goes through tighter bends thus increasing the friction. Look at how the two krabs push up against the device and introduce a bend in the rope as it is forced to either side.
csw on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:

As bob said, the gri gri is designed specifically for bolted climbing and it's supposed to stress the runners more than an unassisted device because it brings a falling climber to a more abrupt stop. I have to say I have no experience with gri gris, so this is just what I've heard from others.

I'm not sure from your OP what your worry actually is. If you're worried about the difference in mass lifting her off her feet, then your choice of belay device won't affect this, and if you're worried about rope slippage, I'd be very surprised if she didn't have enough strength to hold you - Any belay plate is a huge force multiplier, although some are obviously better than others. A basic, unsprung sticht plate is probably the grabbiest thing you could use [I'm prepared to be proved wrong here - it's certainly the grabbiest thing I've used, but that isn't saying too much].

If it's your daughter who's worried about letting the rope slip, maybe get her to wear gloves to belay - they won't affect her grip, but might provide a psychological boost, by reducing the fear of friction burns.

Finally I'd suggest you do some practice falls at your local wall, to get used to the sort of forces that will be in play, and on multipitch climbs, get into the habit of including an anchor for an upward pull - apologies if this is insulting your common sense.
Choss on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to cuppatea:

Youre right, the slippage is small, its the weight difference and Potential shock loading on her that concerns me. Thats why im looking at Assisted Braking devices. If im belaying Someone and get Yanked ill hold the rope Guaranteed whatever happens to me. But shes a lot Lighter, younger, less Experienced. Easier for her to get slippage through device, burn and or let go.

Thinking alpine up might be good Choice.
nate on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:

Hi Choss, my suggestion would be to use a "grabby" device and let her experience the forces in a controlled environment like the wall where she can try out the different devices with and without a sandbag. Once she is used to the forces it won't really matter which device and you will have more trust in her. obviously it would be wise to have her backed up.
I would stay away from the Gri Gri for trad use but it might be good to use in the wall to help her maintain control of the rope while she is learning.

Last I would suggest just not climbing anything you might fall off of when she is belaying...
csw on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to cuppatea:

Well I know that BD specifically said that the ATC was designed with slippage in mind, to reduce fall forces. and I'm pretty sure that I've read something from Petzl that says the Gri gri is unsuitable for trad because it doesn't slip.

On a whim I Googled belay device slippage and came up with this.....

http://www.geir.com/mythbuster.html

Myth 7: GriGris are the best choice for multipitch trad climbing belays
Use of a GriGri for traditional climbing makes it more likely that marginal placements / low rated pieces will fail.

The reason for this is the static nature of the device. With a GriGri, a fall is stopped abruptly when compared to a plate device such as an ATC. The reason for this is the very limited amount of slipping that occurs when a GriGri arrests a fall. An ATC, however, allows the rope to slip through the device during a fall, braking more slowly. This is similar to stopping a car: when pressing the brake slowly, the car stops gradually. When pushing the brakes more, the car jolts to a stop.

Beal did a nice comparison between belay plates (ATC) and autolock devices (GriGri) and has it posted at [broken link - bealplanet.com/sport/anglais/facteurdechute.php.] Breifly, depending on the rope's impact force and friction in the system, they found that the force exerted on the top piece was consistantly higher when using a GriGri versus an ATC.

Jeff and I decided to do a test of our own to get some real-world measurements. After climbing up 40 feet on a sport climb with a heavy, clunky industial dynamometer strapped to my back, I took repeated 10-foot falls and measured the maximum force on the bolt with each fall. After five falls were caught on the GriGri and five falls were caught using an ATC, we repeated the test, this time falling from a bolt closer to the ground (20 feet).

In both cases, the force exerted on the top piece was higher when using a GriGri than with an ATC. When the 10 foot falls were arrested in the first test (falling from 40 feet), the average maximum force on the bolt was 820 pounds with the GriGri as opposed to 435 pounds with the ATC. With less rope out (falling from 20 feet), the force exerted on the top piece was higher, although interestingly, the difference between the two devices was smaller: the average for the GriGri was 1030 pounds while the average for the ATC was 900 pounds. Note that these differences are less pronounced than what the Beal website found, but the differences are still present.

The significance of this for traditional climbing is that the gear used is weaker than a correctly placed bolt. Moreover, the strength of a traditional placement also depends on the nature of the rock it is in, the shape of the feature the climber is trying to protect, the type of gear that is placed in the feature, and a host of subtleties that are dependant on the skill and experience of the leader. So while a traditional placement may be as strong as the gear is rated (generally 5 to 16 kN, or more simply put 1100-3600 pounds), in practice most placements can be weaker. In practice I have found that I have at times needed to rely on sketchy placements sometimes, and have pulled gear multiple times when falling on such gear.

So the question that we need to ask ourselves is how good the gear is on the climb we are planning to do. If you are climbing on bomber gear in bomber rock, the difference between a GriGri and a plate is probably not that big of a deal. If you are climbing on sketchy gear in poor rock, then you'll probably benefit from the softer catch a belay plate provides.

I've recieved a number of comments on this piece. A lot of people think that they can provide a soft enough catch with a GriGri with a well-timed jump. Keep in mind this will be difficult in a hanging belay situation or when tied in close to the anchor. I haven't seen research with actual measurements on soft catches with a GriGri vs an ATC but if you are aware of some please send me a link.
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highclimber - on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to csw:

that's the same link the op posted...
cuppatea on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to highclimber:

So it is! (I didn't notice or read the first link before diving in with my scepticism)

Thanks both for posting it, I'll have a read.
GridNorth - on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:

Have you/she tried the Mammut Smart?
markus691 on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to csw:

All true, but a much lighter belayer is equivalent to a perfectly timed jump. So it's really only an issue when the belayer can't be pulled upwards (i.e. under a roof) or is belaying directly off the anchor. (Which is a viable alternative, as it's much easier to control.)
In other words, either off the anchor with a tube, or using any assisted device with a much lighter belayer is fine. If your placements are that marginal, that you need a perfect belayer who coaxes maximum shock reduction out of the system ... you ought to get paid for it, and you certainly shouldn't be doing that with a minor.
csw on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to highclimber:

Whoops! Sorry about that. Didn't check the link. Lazy - One day lack of attention to detail will kill me - remember you heard me say it first :)
csw on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to markus691:

good point about the perfectly timed jump - I hadn't looked at it in those terms, but surely that would only be a factor on single pitch climbs? If I thought a fall would lift my belayer off an intermediate stance, I'd want them anchored against it, in case I fell and they were lifted enough to compromise the main belay anchors. I've never climbed multipitch with anyone greatly different in weight, but I've often constructed main belays that wouldn't stand an upward pull - a sling round a block being the most obvious.
Choss on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:

just double checked with her. she has done a fair bit of top roping over the years with Scouts. They always belayed with either a grigri or Italian friction hitch, always with a person holding rope behind them as Back up.

she held Lots of top rope pings, but of people her own weight with not much slack in the system.

Its the weight difference that Concerns me. Im probably over worried because was once dropped by someone Using a tuber.

Think indoor wall with her getting Used to Forces From a downward 14 stone punter is way forward, starting with simply lowering From tight rope. with someone holding rope behind her at first.

trying range of devices be wise too.

Choss on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to csw:

I always bang in an Upward pull runner on any Stance if Possible, and at start of next Pitch to reduce the Chance of Lower runners being Lifted out by rope pull or a fall.
David Coley - on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:

The grigri makes a very good trad belay device. I know that sounds confrontational to some, and I am aware of the various bits of test data on the web.

Yes, it does have the potential to increase the force on the top runner, but unless you think it could increase it to the point of failure on the pitch you are on, this is not a good reason to reject it.

THE key function of the belayer and belay device is to hold the fall. Given hours of belaying on a 20 pitch route, or a unexpected high fall factor fall i.e. dad falling off the belay ledge, or where the belayer might get mashed into the rock, or rock fall, or my young lightweight kids, it can be a sensible choice.

A quick review of what the belayers are using in some of those glossy climbing videos (particularly) in the USA) will show many using a grigri on trad and on routes they expect to be be falling a lot on. It is the norm on aid routes (where the pro is often not the best).

Would it be my choice on the grit with an experienced belayer, no. But in many other situations it is as likely to increase the chance of a successful outcome as being the cause of the top cam ripping out.

It might also be worth looking at the DAV test data again to ask how a plate produces less force on the top runner. Although this shows the grigri as being more aggressive, it also shows that a hard fall can see 100cm (!) of slip through the belay plate and questions whether all belayers could hold this especially if they are not expecting the fall. I'm not sure I could; I know my kids won't be able to.
Craigyboy13 - on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:

i have just started using the petzl reverso, it has this little teeth which grip into the rope. the device bites into half ropes really well so when using the device that way around on a single rope its very easy to hold a fall.

David Coley - on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to jezb1:

> I'll have to try because my little brain can't see the why there's a different result between the two ways of having the second krab in. I'll have to go and do some experiential learning!

Have a look at the photos here:
http://people.bath.ac.uk/dac33/high/10GettingBackDown.htm

scroll down to section 6. In one case the lockers increase the angle of entry of the rope, in the other they reduce it.

I hope that helps.
Choss on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to David Coley:

THE key function of the belayer and belay device is to hold the fall. Given hours of belaying on a 20 pitch route, or a unexpected high fall factor fall i.e. dad falling off the belay ledge, or where the belayer might get mashed into the rock, or rock fall, or my young lightweight kids, it can be a sensible choice.

These are the sort of letting go incidents that im thinking of. With an Experienced adult partner i would Expect them to hold that rope no Matter what.

She does have experience top rope belaying with a grigri.

David Coley - on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:



> She does have experience top rope belaying with a grigri.

Then I'd stick with a grigri on trad until she is belaying you on those RP protected E5's on the North Coast of Cornwall. :)

csw on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:

The only thing I'd say there, is that if she doesn't have the experience to use a belay plate correctly, then it's probably a bad idea to be multipitching with her
crayefish - on 21 Dec 2013
Yeah as others have said... the grigri (and others similar) 'lock' too quickly. On anything but the most bomber placements one needs a slightly more dynamic approach to belaying.

Personally I have never liked grigris... my opinion is that if someone can't belay properly with a normal plate (eg. atc) then they shouldn't belay at all. I think a grigri has the chance of making a belayer 'lazy' and not concentrate fully.

But then others will disagree with that for sure.

Hannes on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:

Seeing as the grigri or the trango cinch are go to belay devices for aid where the placements often are far more marginal on a British VS I wouldn't worry that much.

As a side note, I much prefer the trango cinch over the grigri
Bob on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to David Coley:

It is a bit "marmite" like: personally I can't stand being belayed by anyone using one - I prefer a waist belay to a Gri-Gri. It definitely encourages lazy belaying, not a fault of the device itself but I'd rather have a belayer paying attention than relying on a device auto-locking (and the Gri-Gri isn't fool proof).

The fact that a belayer has to introduce dynamism in to the system by jumping when the leader falls is to my eyes a damning indictment of its shortcomings.

I have used one (having forgotten my own belay device one time) and hated it and couldn't wait to get back to use a decent device.
jimtitt - on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:

The Grigri was originally developed (from a rope solo device) for exactly your problem by the manager of Petzl USA who was being belayed by his 12 year old son.
sean1 - on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:

> Assuming youve used a grigri as well, is the autolock on the alpine up not as sharp as the grigri?

Can't say for sure but I would think it's negligible. The device is a better all rounder device.
I can see that it is a mental thing that you are going through, that are you safe and also not putting them in a situation that they feel out of their depth as well.
I to have gone through this whole scenario with teaching my daughters to climb. They started young so by the age of 16 I was just as or more happy them belaying me than some of my mates. I opted out of the Grigri and got them used to a ATC device from the start. I own a grigri and it would of got us up and running quicker from my point of climbing but I knew it wouldn't be the right thing for them in the long run. It was a slow process but teaching someone to belay properly is. A thicker rope is good and in a girls hand it is massive. At some stage they will have to get used to using a ATC it is just a slow process. During this time they could be learning to lead and you could climb, well within your limits and leave the harder days climbing with your mates.
needvert on 21 Dec 2013
In reply to Hannes:

> Seeing as the grigri or the trango cinch are go to belay devices for aid where the placements often are far more marginal on a British VS I wouldn't worry that much.

That about sums up what I think.

Same thread, different forum - rgold's comments are interesting:
http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?do=post_view_flat;post=1016830;page=1;mh=-1;;sb...


On a side note, if the
http://bealplanet.com/sport/anglais/facteurdechute.php figures are solid,
then rope choice plays a big factor in the loading on the top piece, to such an extent that one can get higher forces with an ATC and one rope vs a grigri and another rope. But, I doubt many people pay much attention to how stretchy their rope is.
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needvert on 22 Dec 2013
Woops, my mistake. I said ATC above, whereas I should have said 'classical' belay device. The Beal page isn't explicit as to what the classical figures mean (or what classical device.)
Duncan Bourne - on 22 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:
A grigri would not be my choice for multi-pitch trad because a) it is for single rope use and b) weight. When you are lugging a harness load of gear around for most of the day you want it to be as light as possible, hence I always use an ATC
Morgan Woods - on 22 Dec 2013
In reply to Bob:

>
> The fact that a belayer has to introduce dynamism in to the system by jumping when the leader falls is to my eyes a damning indictment of its shortcomings.

They don't have to. That is primarily done to take a bit of the load out of the system particularly with short falls on steep rock where the climber might bang heavily into the rock. You might still do the same with an ATC. In any case i think people overstate the importance of it and it's not a shortcoming of the device but how people think they need to use it.

beardy mike - on 22 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:

As others have cited, staying alive is more important than impact force in your case. The click and alpine are seriously good... Much much better than the grigri imo...
shawrie777 - on 26 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:

I would definitely recommend the mammut smart.
Rockmonkey1977 on 27 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:

One point that nobody seems to have raised is the safety added by a grigri upon something unexpected happening to the belayer. This summer I had a fairly small rock dislodged by the climber smack me straight on the nose. I maintained control of the rope despite the significant stream of blood but I'm not sure everyone would have... And had the rock been any bigger it may have been a different story.
David Coley - on 27 Dec 2013
In reply to Rockmonkey1977:

> One point that nobody seems to have raised is the safety added by a grigri upon something unexpected happening to the belayer. This summer I had a fairly small rock dislodged by the climber smack me straight on the nose. I maintained control of the rope despite the significant stream of blood but I'm not sure everyone would have... And had the rock been any bigger it may have been a different story.

This is exactly the point of why the plate=trad, grigri=sport view of the world makes no sense. With long routes the same is true. It is just impossible to stay focused for 20 hours.

alooker - on 27 Dec 2013
In reply to Choss:

The whole grigri impact force thing has been done to death. I believe that the impact force is probably greater in fixed tests, but real world there are more important aspects like dynamic belaying.

For trad I like the mammut smart alpine, it's light, deals with double ropes, acts as a guide plate and you can use it to abseil (without a prussik) - all these things make it a winner over the grigri for me. For single pitch sport then a gri gri is better for me.

Smart certainly isn't as 'auto locking' as the grigri so don't be shocked fit the rope doesn't fully lock, particularly with certain carabiners. IMO it'd be a great idea if you want some extra stopping power for a light belayer/heavy climber.

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