Petzl gri gri 2 for caving

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Re: Petzl gri gri 2 for rappelling

Postby Caver John » Jun 25, 2011 11:32 am

Being a car guy myself I like the analogy too!

So let's take that route:

My vehicle is a 350hp AWD Subaru Wrx Sti, needless to say it sets the road on fire,

I'm looking fOr a rappel devise that performs equally. I like the versatilityand cOntrol of the rack, but not it's size and weigh. Looking at a stop.
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Re: Petzl gri gri 2 for caving

Postby NZcaver » Jun 25, 2011 1:05 pm

I own a Ford Expedition, but use a Suzuki SX4 for most of my driving right now (much better gas mileage).

A Petzl Stop was my primary descender for many years, but now I prefer the micro rack.

Not sure what this all means... :shrug: :laughing:
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Re: Petzl gri gri 2 for caving

Postby MUD » Jun 25, 2011 11:09 pm

Hmmmm......I have 5 vehicles and 5 rappelling devices. They're equal as some of them are better than others! :big grin:
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Re: Petzl gri gri 2 for caving

Postby mooreshire » Jun 26, 2011 12:49 pm

Caver John wrote:
mooreshire wrote:The new grigri(2) is pretty much just as awkward for rappel as the original. The only real modification/upgrade was to reduce weight and profile slightly and make the groove narrower to accommodate for super thin ropes. I bring mine everywhere but into caves.

I don't really like the Yo-Yo (or "R.A.D.S." as Petzl wants it called) ascending system either - my one arm gets tired from pulling rope through the grigri, even with the 2:1 via a mini-pulley under the upper ascender. I have a buddy who doesn't seem to mind and appreciates not having to changeover, but he mainly uses the system for big wall climbs and recreational tree climbing.



Have you even done the slightest reading on the gg2? Because I've read that it is much better for rappelling due to a redesigned cam. Its not just the size and weight that has changed.

Anyway, my purpose for starting this thread was to see if anyone has used the new one for rapping.... So.... Anyone?


I traded my up GG1 at REI for the GG2 when it came out, and yes, I had heard it made for easier lowering/rappelling. I find the improvement to be nominal, and still loath the jerky awkward way it descends - the so called "sweet spot" seems to have increased from an approximately 4 degree arc in the swing of the plastic arm, to maybe 7 degrees. It's very susceptible to changes in the load, and the sweet spot will jump all over the place if you're on a multipitch and shifting some weight on and off the surface. It's a slow and jolting ride unless you're on a free hanging rope and then you've got to keep the lever still and at just the right spot or jerk jerk jerk all the way down - this is easier for a stationary belayer to maintain which is why it still makes for an acceptable lowering device.

The GriGri was designed so you can easily feed rope through it but still have it attached and ready to take the load the whole time - feeding rope is laughably awkward with a rack or Stop. If you don't need the feeding feature, why bother dealing with an inferior descending device? :grin:
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Re: Petzl gri gri 2 for caving

Postby Caver John » Jun 27, 2011 8:54 am

Thanks for the input. I do want something that can feed out for belay, and also something nice for rappelling with a stop feature, this is why the gg2 is so appealing. I guess u can't always have your cake and eat it too.
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Re: Petzl gri gri 2 for caving

Postby harrym » Sep 12, 2011 7:49 pm

So it seems that no one has actually used the Grigri in a caving environment. So all we have is speculation.

I just heard from a friend who took a course from the AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association). In case you're wondering, the AMGA is the organization that certifies climbing guides in the USA. If you want to work in the climbing business you gotta go through AMGA.

Seems that the AMGA is teaching that the Grigri can be used as one's primary belaying, ascending and rappelling device.

My friend demonstrated the Grigri for me on a cliff at the New River Gorge. He loved how smooth the device worked on rappel. I must say that I was impressed with the ease of change-over from ascending to rapping. He simply removed the upper ascender and - poof! - "ON RAPPEL!"

But the ascending technique left a lot to be desired. Kinda like the Frog sit-stand but you have to manually pull the rope through the device with every stand-up motion. I ran the rope through a 'biner on the upper cam (to function kinda like a pulley) so that I could pull down on the rope as I stood up, thereby pulling the rope through the Grigri. Clumsy at best.

Looks like the Grigri would work well for short pitches. Anything else? I'll stick with my Frog and rack.
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Re: Petzl gri gri 2 for caving

Postby NZcaver » Sep 14, 2011 8:02 am

harrym wrote:So it seems that no one has actually used the Grigri in a caving environment. So all we have is speculation.

I wouldn't say "no one." I used my GriGri in a cave - once.

Seems that the AMGA is teaching that the Grigri can be used as one's primary belaying, ascending and rappelling device.

My friend demonstrated the Grigri for me on a cliff at the New River Gorge. He loved how smooth the device worked on rappel. I must say that I was impressed with the ease of change-over from ascending to rapping. He simply removed the upper ascender and - poof! - "ON RAPPEL!"

But the ascending technique left a lot to be desired. Kinda like the Frog sit-stand but you have to manually pull the rope through the device with every stand-up motion. I ran the rope through a 'biner on the upper cam (to function kinda like a pulley) so that I could pull down on the rope as I stood up, thereby pulling the rope through the Grigri. Clumsy at best.

This technique is known as RADS (Rappel and Descent System), and usually incorporates a real pulley on the upper ascender. We had a level 1 student use this system at last year's NCRC national, and he struggled a little with his entry testing requirements before finally passing. It's great that the AMGA likes it, but I think your "clumsy" description is reasonably apt in relation to caving use.

FYI, see previous topic GriGri in a Frog system. More info about RADS can be found on the canyoneering forum.
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Re: Petzl gri gri 2 for caving

Postby harrym » Sep 14, 2011 4:32 pm

Thanks for the great info
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Re: Petzl gri gri 2 for caving

Postby dutchcontractor » Sep 20, 2011 7:12 pm

I have been a Gri Gri user for quite a few years now, I use it for rappeling, belaying and ascending. Like any device, it takes practice to really get the most out of it and the Gri Gri has done well for me. The main advantage of a Gri Gri is that the change over in a RADS setup is super easy and you never have to take the gri gri off the rope to do this.
As far as it being jerky, with a little experience you'll get it to run as smooth as any rappel device, the key is to use your brake hand and not the release lever for speed control.

Is it made for caving? Maybe for a nice clean cave with short drops, it tends really to heat up. I dont use it for anything over a 100 feet. I would keep it out of caves where it could get really muddy or dusty. It has worked fine for me with wet ropes, however, Gri Gri really belongs in the rock and tree climbing world.

Over time I am using it less and less since my adventures are getting bigger and taller, but if you want to teach a buddy an easy way to get up or down a rope quickly, Gri Gri.
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Re: Petzl gri gri 2 for caving

Postby Extremeophile » Sep 20, 2011 10:56 pm

NZcaver wrote:
harrym wrote:So it seems that no one has actually used the Grigri in a caving environment. So all we have is speculation.

I wouldn't say "no one." I used my GriGri in a cave - once.

Seems that the AMGA is teaching that the Grigri can be used as one's primary belaying, ascending and rappelling device.

My friend demonstrated the Grigri for me on a cliff at the New River Gorge. He loved how smooth the device worked on rappel. I must say that I was impressed with the ease of change-over from ascending to rapping. He simply removed the upper ascender and - poof! - "ON RAPPEL!"

But the ascending technique left a lot to be desired. Kinda like the Frog sit-stand but you have to manually pull the rope through the device with every stand-up motion. I ran the rope through a 'biner on the upper cam (to function kinda like a pulley) so that I could pull down on the rope as I stood up, thereby pulling the rope through the Grigri. Clumsy at best.

This technique is known as RADS (Rappel and Descent System), and usually incorporates a real pulley on the upper ascender. We had a level 1 student use this system at last year's NCRC national, and he struggled a little with his entry testing requirements before finally passing. It's great that the AMGA likes it, but I think your "clumsy" description is reasonably apt in relation to caving use.

FYI, see previous topic GriGri in a Frog system. More info about RADS can be found on the canyoneering forum.

Having just completed NCRC Level 1 training, I learned and practiced the tandem triple wrap Prusik belay (T3WP Belay), and this is commonly paired with a Prusik-minding pulley for progress capture on a haul, and a radium load releasing hitch (RLRH) to allow the rope to be unweighted if the belay has to hold a load. This belay system is the only one they endorse for a rescue load (more than one person), and is even more complicated to tie properly than it is to spell. I kept thinking that a Grigri would replace this whole system - belay a haul, belay a lower, release a weighted rope, and pass the whistle test. It could be rigged with much less equipment and in a small fraction of the time with far less opportunity for error. Is there a reason not to use this that I'm missing? I don't accept the argument that it's a specialized piece of equipment... 30' of 8mm cord for the RLRH, Prusik knots and a Prusik-minding pulley are also specialized equipment.
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Re: Petzl gri gri 2 for caving

Postby NZcaver » Sep 21, 2011 8:55 am

Extremeophile wrote:Having just completed NCRC Level 1 training, I learned and practiced the tandem triple wrap Prusik belay (T3WP Belay), and this is commonly paired with a Prusik-minding pulley for progress capture on a haul, and a radium load releasing hitch (RLRH) to allow the rope to be unweighted if the belay has to hold a load. This belay system is the only one they endorse for a rescue load (more than one person), and is even more complicated to tie properly than it is to spell. I kept thinking that a Grigri would replace this whole system - belay a haul, belay a lower, release a weighted rope, and pass the whistle test. It could be rigged with much less equipment and in a small fraction of the time with far less opportunity for error. Is there a reason not to use this that I'm missing? I don't accept the argument that it's a specialized piece of equipment... 30' of 8mm cord for the RLRH, Prusik knots and a Prusik-minding pulley are also specialized equipment.

Good question, Derek. You're not the first person to wonder about this.

As I recall, the short answer is the GriGri is only rated for single person loads. That said, it is being used as a safety belay device for cave rescue in some parts of the UK. See this post:

paul wrote:The Gri-Gri is usable as a belay device for caving ropes (used by my local Cave Rescue organisation) however, care must be taken to always hold the controlling rope until safely locked-off as it may not autolock on a sudden load and also it releases suddenly when depressing the handle after autolocking. Care must be taken to prevent the autolocking being released unintentionally by allowing the device to press against any surface.

I don't have the reference at hand, but I remember reading something about rescue load drop tests with the GriGri. Apparently it holds, but often a sharp tap to the handle with a solid object is required to release it again. Similar types of device with higher load ratings like the Petzl Rig and I'D may fare better, but I'm not sure.

Remember, NCRC teaches "a" method - not the only method. The rationale behind curriculum choices is a complicated thing in itself, way beyond the scope of this discussion. Suffice to say most of the rope rescue content is based on tried and tested standard techniques from the above ground technical rescue world, carefully blended with "what works" in the cave environment. The level one class is primarily focused on that first part, and subsequent levels tend to delve into more options. For example, when you come back for level two you'll likely be spending a little more time belaying single person loads with something even simpler than a GriGri - the Munter hitch.
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Re: Petzl gri gri 2 for caving

Postby hunter » Oct 3, 2011 6:29 pm

Seems like this topic has been very well beaten but I thought I would mention one thing no one noted. I have observed with the Stop vs. the Gri-gri (old and new). The Stop will lock on a very fat rope but will tend to creep on medium and thin ropes if they are clean enough. Once locked the gri-gri stays locked on every rope I have used it on (which is down to 9.2 or so dynamic).
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Re: Petzl gri gri 2 for caving

Postby bradyfl » Mar 12, 2014 5:54 pm

I have used a used a petzl stop, a rack, and various 8's as well as a gri gri and a gri gri 2. I really like the gri gri 2 and prefer it. I guess it's all about what you are comfortable with and personal preference. There is more than one way to skin a cat and the same goes for descending :wink:
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Re: Petzl gri gri 2 for caving

Postby NZcaver » Mar 12, 2014 7:11 pm

bradyfl wrote:I have used a used a petzl stop, a rack, and various 8's as well as a gri gri and a gri gri 2. I really like the gri gri 2 and prefer it. I guess it's all about what you are comfortable with and personal preference. There is more than one way to skin a cat and the same goes for descending :wink:
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Speaking of personal preference, is that a dynamic rope you're using with that GriGri in the cave or just a colorful static rope?
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Re: Petzl gri gri 2 for caving

Postby bradyfl » Mar 12, 2014 7:18 pm

it's 11mm static, just pretty lol.
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