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GriGri handle
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Dec 22, 2002, 4:18 PM
Post #1 of 2 (1240 views)

Registered: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4724

GriGri handle
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Anyone ever hear of an incident where the handle of a GriGri broke? The concern came up recently when we were using it for rappeling. It takes quite a bit of force to release the rope when it's weighted and it seems that with repeated use as a rappel device it might be the weak link. There are no strength ratings for the handle, per se, on Petzl's website, but they do include rappeling among the approved uses of a GriGri:

"This device provides maximum security for rappels up to 50 m.Longer descents are not advised (risk of device overheating)."

Since I'm trying to sell my partners on the virtues of using the one ascender/grigri combo to clean an aid pitch this was one of the concerns they brought up. I've never heard of a handle failing, but was wondering if any of our venerable aid gurus have heard of an incident? Thanks.


[ This Message was edited by: up2top on 2002-12-22 16:18 ]


Dec 22, 2002, 5:24 PM
Post #2 of 2 (1240 views)

Registered: Oct 9, 2001
Posts: 2183

GriGri handle [In reply to]
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I think I have heard tell of the handle breaking. I think I have seen one with a busted handle in a climbing gym.

But that doesn't matter for two reasons:

1. A busted handle wouldn't necessarily keep the device from working. A more likely way would be for the handle to somehow get jammed open during a lead fall while solo aiding, and prevent the device from stopping you. It's probably a good idea to duct tape the handle down when solo leading.

But I rarely bother to tape my handle shut for the second reason:

2. ALWAYS TIE A BACKUP KNOT! I have personally spoken with two people at the base of El Cap who had taken long falls when their Grigri didn't hold! One fell about thirty feet to his backup, the other went about a hundred and fifty until he reached the end of his rope to which he was fortuitously tied.

Our own Tom Randall has a word or two to share on the subject, I'm sure....

Does this mean I'll stop soloing with a Grigri?


Does this mean I'll tie my backup knots more frequently?

Damn straight.

As for rapping on a Grigri, I do it all the time. Slowly. The device does not offer good heat dissipation.

As for cleaning an aid pitch using a Grigri as an ascender, the Grigri is ETS!



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