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orangekyak


Jul 22, 2003, 4:23 PM
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In reply to:
My wife can whip slack out like a cowgirl doing rope tricks and has never given me a bad belay.

I'm having a hard time envisioning this ... photos would help. jk, couldn't help myself :roll:


sspssp


Jul 22, 2003, 4:35 PM
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There is no question, though, that grigris have greater braking power than ATCs. ATCs allow rope to slip when the force exceeds approximately 500 lbf. That is a design feature to limit the impact force on anchors. In contrast, the grigri is designed not to allow rope to slip through, though it will, slightly, at a sufficiently high force. The numbers I've seen quoted vary from 900 to 1400 lbf, probably depending on the specifics of the experiment, such as the rope that was used.

Right. But as was already pointed out, this is only if the grigri is directly hooked to the anchor. If you are belaying with the grigri attached to your waist, you can't generate more force than body weight (ok, as somebody pointed out--if you are being accelerated, you can produce more force than your weight, but it won't be much). This means if you catch a fall with a grigri, you might get lifted off the ground but you won't be applying much more than a few hundred pounds (unless or until you come tight on your anchor or you get lifted all the way up to the first bolt).

These "tests" with the grigri are usually performed with the grigri attached to a static anchor. But that isn't how people actually use them.


tenn_dawg


Jul 22, 2003, 4:40 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
And does anyone know where any tests have been done to show the higher load on lead placements durring a fall while using a Gri Gri vs. using an ATC.

I get the feeling that this stigma is the result of a good bit of conjecture, rather than fact. I will bow to defeat if someone can show me some convincing experimental results, however.

I don't know where any tests have been done, but I have seen specific numbers quoted in papers and books for the braking forces of ATCs and Grigris. I doubt that those numbers were just made up.

There is no question, though, that grigris have greater braking power than ATCs. ATCs allow rope to slip when the force exceeds approximately 500 lbf. That is a design feature to limit the impact force on anchors. In contrast, the grigri is designed not to allow rope to slip through, though it will, slightly, at a sufficiently high force. The numbers I've seen quoted vary from 900 to 1400 lbf, probably depending on the specifics of the experiment, such as the rope that was used.

-Jay

What it comes down to, it the force felt at the belayer.

I have a feeling that the force felt at the belay device rarely exceeds 500lbs. I do not know this for certain, but for a moment lets say that in 90% of lead falls, the force felt at the belay is less than 500lbs.

In this situation, the "staticness" (for lack of a real word) of the belay device is a moot point. As long as the force felt at the belay is less than 500lbs, an ATC and a GriGri will cause identical forces to be exerted on a lead placement.

Now, for the other 10%. In a situation where a high factor fall occured, causing more than 500lbs of force on the belay device, ATC's and GriGri's will start to differ. How much is the question.

When the forces on the ATC exceed 500lbs, the device will allow some rope to slip, we have established that. A question that arises, however, is how long of a period of time are these >500lbs forces felt, and what length of rope is allowed to slip.

It is entirely possible that in a high factor fall, the force at the Belay device only exceeds 500lbs for a half a second, resulting in a 6 inch slip of rope. If this is the case, I don't believe that this would result in a statistically significant load decrease on a lead placement.

I have no numbers to back this claim, but I believe it to be well founded. Perhaps there is not as big a differance between a locked off GriGri and an locked off ATC as has been percieved.

Travis


hammer_


Jul 22, 2003, 4:52 PM
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If your a confident belayer you shoould be using an atc. The reason for this is that you have control over where the falling leader ends up. By letting a little more rope slip through your atc before locking off you can allow the leader to miss that nasty ledge or whatever. With a grigri it locks off and thats it, you can only hope for the best.

just my 2c not yours.


tenn_dawg


Jul 22, 2003, 4:53 PM
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Another point that must be raised has to do with the technique of giving a deliberate dynamic belay.

Not many people use this technique, but it is a good one, nonetheless.

If your leader takes a fall above a manky piece using an ATC, one dynamic belay technique is as follows.

1. Hold the rope deliberately with a stiff arm forward of the ATC, allowing the rope to slide through the device and your hand at the onset of force.

2. Then quickly and deliberately, bring your hand back to the lock off position, stopping the fall.

This is a difficult technique to master. Far more difficult than jumping, and has limited use. You want to be aware that you can extend the fall by as much as 20' in a moment using this technique, and should be aware of the possible consequences. For it to work effectively, you need to be PLANNING on using it, and be prepared to do what you have to do.

This is a slight tangent to the argument at hand, but is relevant in the sense that this technique is not possible with a GriGri to my knowledge.

Travis


geezergecko


Jul 22, 2003, 5:37 PM
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Suppose you are using a gri-gri to belay a trad leader. And suppose that for whatever reason the top piece fails in a fall and you have an epic. Let's even say that its not the gri-gri's fault. How are you going to explain that using a piece of equipment against the manufacturer's express recommendations didn't cause the accident? Now I have nothing against the gri-gri. I use them regularly for top roping. But to be stuck in a bad situation where you did something unorthodox? Nah.


jt512


Jul 22, 2003, 5:45 PM
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In reply to:
Suppose you are using a gri-gri to belay a trad leader. And suppose that for whatever reason the top piece fails in a fall and you have an epic. Let's even say that its not the gri-gri's fault. How are you going to explain that using a piece of equipment against the manufacturer's express recommendations didn't cause the accident?

Explain to whom? What's your point?

In reply to:
Now I have nothing against the gri-gri. I use them regularly for top roping. But to be stuck in a bad situation where you did something unorthodox? Nah.

Many trad climbers belay with grigris. I don't, but I'd hardly call it unorthodox.

-Jay


tenn_dawg


Jul 22, 2003, 5:45 PM
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Suppose you are using a gri-gri to belay a trad leader. And suppose that for whatever reason the top piece fails in a fall and you have an epic. Let's even say that its not the gri-gri's fault. How are you going to explain that using a piece of equipment against the manufacturer's express recommendations didn't cause the accident? Now I have nothing against the gri-gri. I use them regularly for top roping. But to be stuck in a bad situation where you did something unorthodox? Nah.

It's not unorthodox. Grigri's are used trad and aid climbing every day by many people.

I believe that it is a distinct possibility that a GriGri is not any worse of a belay device than an ATC for belaying Traditional routes. My reasoning is above.

I would really like to see some specific testing that measures the force on the top piece of pro in a lead fall situation using a Grigri and and ATC. I am sure at a point that there is a difference, but I don't believe it is as substantial as has been implied.

Travis

edit, me and Jay posted at the same time, sorry about the repeated points.


buckyllama


Jul 22, 2003, 6:47 PM
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[quote="geezergecko"]Suppose you are using a gri-gri to belay a trad leader. And suppose that for whatever reason the top piece fails in a fall and you have an epic. Let's even say that its not the gri-gri's fault. How are you going to explain that using a piece of equipment against the manufacturer's express recommendations didn't cause the accident? Now I have nothing against the gri-gri. I use them regularly for top roping. But to be stuck in a bad situation where you did something unorthodox? Nah.
And suppose that your belayer was using an ATC, and suppose that a touron on an overlook tosses a rock off the top and knocks them unconscious (fortunately they were wearing a helmet, otherwise they'd have been killed of course). Your adherence to orthodoxy has just left you without a belay.

I'm not saying that either case is likely, but it's easy to construct scenarios where one thing or another may play a part in an accident. Competency in the environment and familiarity with both the systems and the gear is the best way to ensure safety.


geezergecko


Jul 22, 2003, 8:03 PM
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My apologies if my prior posting rubbed some people the wrong way. It's just that Petzl does not recommend using the gri-gri for trad. Now it could be that they just want to sell more reversos. Maybe not. If I do something that the manufacturer (Petzl) says that I shouldn't do then I would have second thoughts. And if the possible consequences could be tragic then I have third thoughts. I understand that many people ignore Petzl's advice and most if not all of these people are way more experienced than me. It was just one of those things that struck me as being odd. Live and learn I guess.


elrojobdugs


Jul 22, 2003, 8:15 PM
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i feel comfortable (and i guess my friends do) with me belaying with an atc... but im not really comfortable with them belaying unless its a grigri... and some people have told me that on trad its dangerous... ive never had problems of any sort with a grigri on trad and im gonna keep on using it... im just wondering what rc.com people thought... seeing as how some of you must have some climbing experience haha.


traddad


Jul 22, 2003, 8:31 PM
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There is something about the very concept of a “dynamic” belay (or the active attempt to give one) that makes me more than a little squeamish. First, the jumping thing. Do you REALLY mean for people to leave their feet and possibly lose control of their own safety (and thus, yours)? I can see this in sport areas with nice, level ground below the climbs, but in a place where the belay stance consists of a 1 foot square ledge, boulder, etc, I’d like my belayer to stay upright and conscious. I have used a method where I drop my hips as soon as my partner pops and then allow his/her weight to raise me back up, but I never leave my feet. Is that what you really mean?

Now, active belays at the belay device: Shudder! Like what happened to the belayer in my previous post, I worry that if you let the rope slip through the device a “little” you are increasing the possibility of losing control of the rope all together. Once the rope slips in a high energy situation, it MUST be harder to stop than if you concentrated on not letting it slip in the first place. This would be especially true given the forces created by high fall factors.

OK, call me paranoid, but all I want my belayer and belay device to do is stop my a$$ from hitting the ground. All the rest is gravy. I’ll manage the gear placements and make sure, to the best of my ability, that they won’t blow (screamers, extensions, doubling up, GOOD PLACEMENTS). I’ll take responsibility for my flight plan, also. The last thing I want is my belayer trying, from the ground, to estimate if I’m going to hit a ledge or something and then slipping the rope to try to prevent it. Part of my job as leader is to know what is under me when I fall.

As for what anyone did when climbing with Gumbies before Gri Gris; that’s a moot point. Gri Gris are here. Of course I could quote the old Chamonix (spelling?) guide saying: “The leader must not fall!”


markc


Jul 22, 2003, 8:45 PM
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In reply to:
i feel comfortable (and i guess my friends do) with me belaying with an atc... but im not really comfortable with them belaying unless its a grigri...

Care to elaborate on that part a bit? I realize it's a little off-topic, but this made me curious. Are you significantly larger than your partners? Do you climb with people suffering from narcolepsy or ADHD? I don't know why you'd feel comfortable belaying with a certain device, but not want to be belayed on the same piece of equipment.

mark


redpoint73


Jul 22, 2003, 8:58 PM
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I looked down to see my belayer, a PhD consultant, taking her brake hand off the rope to haul in some extra slack.

Apparently not a PhD in belaying. Why in the world would you need to take your brake hand off while hauling in slack with ANY device? Makes you wonder how many times she did that while you WEREN'T looking . . .

In reply to:
I have ever personally witnessed happened with an ATC. An experienced climber (and a very strong fire fighter) was belaying a 200+ pound beefcake when he popped suddenly and unexpectedly while she was feeding slack for a clip. Her brake hand was very near the ATC and given the surprise etc., by the time she got her hand clamped, the rope whipped through, burning her hand almost to the bone.

Sounds like belayer failure, not belay device failure.


sticky_fingers


Jul 22, 2003, 9:22 PM
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[quote="buckyllama"]
And suppose that your belayer was using an ATC, and suppose that a touron on an overlook tosses a rock off the top and knocks them unconscious (fortunately they were wearing a helmet, otherwise they'd have been killed of course).quote]

This is one of the main reasons why I use a gri-gri. For those of you who missed buckyllama's origial post it or need this to be summed up, I'll do so in one word...

"R O C K !"

Face it, no belayer ever watches their partner 100% of the time. You might have to fiddle with the rope, your neck is killing you, whatever, there are a miraid of reasons why we look away, if only for 1-2 seconds. In that time, gravity's still working at 9.8 m/s so it's quite possible for your partner to accidently dislodge something and have it hit you before you can react. If you get knocked out, then you really don't care much about anything, but if you're conscious and really messed up, you're gonna wish you had that oh-so heavy, budget draining belay device. Isn't your partner's safety worth it?


alpnclmbr1


Jul 22, 2003, 9:26 PM
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The main reason not to use a gri gri for multi pitch trad is that it is way too heavy and bulky. The static factor is real to, and the evidence is good enough for me. (I will find some later)

As far as purposely letting the rope slip through an atc type device, I have never met anyone that actually tried to do this. I have seen people do this with a gri gri by holding the cam open. It is easy to recover with a gri gri, it is not that easy with an atc type device.

If you build your anchor out of slings and belay off your harness, it is possible to have a static anchor system in a factor two fall.

The tightening of a knot and give in your harness been shown too at most minimally effect shock loads. This belief is more or less a myth.


hammer_


Jul 22, 2003, 9:37 PM
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OK so your belayer's knocked out, now what do you do? untie and down climb? untie and keep climbing? stay in the middle of a crux move and wait for help that may or may not come? If your belayer is using an atc, it is possible to leave your top piece in and downclimb in relitive safety due to rope drag through his/her atc. You can also set up an ancor, pull some extra rope and rap down to the injured belayer. Don't try any of this at home kids! it's not safe.


alpnclmbr1


Jul 22, 2003, 9:45 PM
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Chris Harmston wrote
In reply to:
The MH is one of the most static belays available. This can be very
dangerous when you must rely on the dynamic belay. In trad and ice
climbing the MH can be very dangerous because it will increase the loads
felt by the top anchor.

Different post
(snip)
Here is another example of some "uncontrolled" testing I have been
involved with.

Last winter Craig Luebben and I conducted some drop tests on ice. Craig published an article in Climbing Mag on some of these results and results of his static tests. I have also written an article on static tests I have conducted in the lab (email me if anyone wants a copy). Anyway, we set up our tests under the bridge in Ouray. This was in pretty bad ice actually and for the most part the gear did not hold. Our setup was with a static belay, a new 10.5 mm BD rope, fall factors in the 1.5 to 1.8 range, and 185 pounds of steel. With this setup the only thing that actually held was a 10 cm screw. Everything else ripped out OR carabiners broke! I attribute this to the bad ice and that the 10 cm screw that held was probably in the only good ice we found.

We decided to conduct a series of tests where we used the same section of rope over again. The first three tests the gear ripped out. On the fourth drop we about keeled over in disbelief. We had a Snarg as the test piece connected to the rope with a draw with BD QS2 biners. A few feet below this was two equalized screws (BD and a Grivel). They were equalized with a single 24" sling and a locked Big Easy was connected to the rope. The biner on the snarg broke, the hanger on the Grivel screw sheared along its long bend, then the big easy locked biner broke! This is three pieces of hardware that broke on one fall. Now, I am assuming that these were not defective products (a solid assumption based on my knowledge of all the gear and the systems to produce it, and a review of the fracture surfaces of the parts we actually recovered). This means that the forces generated were well in excess of 5000 pounds (multiple times!). Now the tricky part. Conducting a static test on a new rope with the same diameter with the same type of knots caused the rope to break in the 3500 pound
range. I don't know why the gear broke and why the rope did not. There was about one hour between drops so the rope had some reasonable time to recover.

Now the good news. When we placed an ATC in the system (i.e. some dynamic aspects) every test we conducted held except for a couple of tests with Spectres.

What does this mean? Dynamic belays are your friend! Climbers have known this for about a century now. Many climbers today do not understand this very well. This is why I am relating these types of info to this news group. I am purposely trying to get this group to discuss this stuff in detail and learn something from it.
(snip)


sticky_fingers


Jul 22, 2003, 10:11 PM
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Too heavy and bulky??????
gimme a break
i just went on REI's home page where they list a BD ATC (not XP) as weighing
49 grams
and a gri-gri weighing
225 grams

Bottom line: A gri-gri is only 176 grams heavier than an ATC.

Now...I'm gonna be generous here and assume a (light) 150lb trad climber. Converting that to grams is 68,038.86 grams. How much is the difference of a gri-gri again? The additional weight of a gri-gri over this person's bodyweight amounts to 0.25% of their bodyweight (even less if they're heavier). If an additional 0.25% of your body weight is too heavy for you to carry, get off the rock. Besides, YOU'RE BELAYING not leading. If the only reason you can't second a climb is because you have to schelp a gri-gri, then you have other problems.

Bulky? what and carrying a rull rack is like a second skin? remember you're belaying. when you climb (if you follow) you begin with NO gear and pick it up as you go. Most likely you'll end up with less than the full rack because the leader probably carried more than he/she needed to.

I'm not trying to sway anybody's opinion, I'm just trying to thow out the arguments that's it's too heavy and bulky.


traddad


Jul 22, 2003, 10:45 PM
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Quoting Hammer: OK so your belayer's knocked out, now what do you do? untie and down climb? untie and keep climbing? stay in the middle of a crux move and wait for help that may or may not come?

Giggle......

I take it that when you pull a block off in a fall and it splatters your belayer's brains, you would rather just go on hurtling toward the earth until that sudden stop at the end. The friction of an unattended ATC would probably just allow you to live long enough to appreciate how much pain you are in.

Yes, I would rather wait, prusik, holler, etc....anything but take a dirt nap.

Here's a challenge to the enginerds out there. Find some way to measure impact forces in a realistic belay situation (read: human, harness, rope, slings, rope drag, gear in the loop) using both the gri gri and an ATC. I figure, given the complexity of the set up and all the drag inputs and general slop in the system, there will not be a real, substantive difference.


traddad


Jul 22, 2003, 10:54 PM
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RP73 sez...
"Apparently not a PhD in belaying. Why in the world would you need to take your brake hand off while hauling in slack with ANY device? Makes you wonder how many times she did that while you WEREN'T looking"

I never said that intuitive ability was positively correlated with education.....
Instead of sliding her brake hand down the rope in a cupped position, she was taking it completely off and moving it down. She doesn't do that any more :twisted:


jt512


Jul 22, 2003, 11:18 PM
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In reply to:
The main reason not to use a gri gri for multi pitch trad is that it is way too heavy and bulky. The static factor is real to, and the evidence is good enough for me. (I will find some later)

As far as purposely letting the rope slip through an atc type device, I have never met anyone that actually tried to do this.

Not true. You've met me. Though the master of this technique is Tom Lindner.

In reply to:
I have seen people do this with a gri gri by holding the cam open.

That's a really bad idea. It would be almost impossible to control the amount of friction using the handle in the event of a fall.

In reply to:
It is easy to recover with a gri gri, it is not that easy with an atc type device.

It's very easy to stop the rope with an ATC. You simply move your hand into the full braking position. Keep in mind that you have control at all times. You don't let the rope run at full speed. The device is always providing some friction; you decide how much by the angle between the two strands of rope. If you start with the two strands about 60 degrees apart and smoothly bring your hand down to your hip, you will let a couple of feet of rope through the device, gradually stopping the fall.

-Jay


jt512


Jul 22, 2003, 11:38 PM
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In reply to:
There is something about the very concept of a dynamic belay (or the active attempt to give one) that makes me more than a little squeamish.

What makes me squeamish are climbers who think dynamic belaying is unnecessary.

In reply to:
First, the jumping thing. Do you REALLY mean for people to leave their feet and possibly lose control of their own safety (and thus, yours)?

I mean for them to leave their feet and not lose control. You don't need to be on your feet to maintain control of the belay. You need your hands for that. And you don't need your hands to control your landing; you need your feet for that. Thus, by means of the Principle of Independent Hand and Foot Action you can control the belay while jumping.

In reply to:
I can see this in sport areas with nice, level ground below the climbs, but in a place where the belay stance consists of a 1 foot square ledge, boulder, etc, Id like my belayer to stay upright and conscious.

The belay stance has to be taken into account. As with most everything in climbing there is no one way to do anything that applies universally.

In reply to:
I have used a method where I drop my hips as soon as my partner pops and then allow his/her weight to raise me back up, but I never leave my feet.

I have done this also, especially near the ground on sport climbs. In a sense, it is the best of both worlds: you both shorten the fall and give a dynamic belay.

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Now, active belays at the belay device: Shudder! Like what happened to the belayer in my previous post, I worry that if you let the rope slip through the device a little you are increasing the possibility of losing control of the rope all together. Once the rope slips in a high energy situation, it MUST be harder to stop than if you concentrated on not letting it slip in the first place. This would be especially true given the forces created by high fall factors.

See my previous post. You never let the rope run at full speed.

In reply to:
OK, call me paranoid, but all I want my belayer and belay device to do is stop my a$$ from hitting the ground. All the rest is gravy. Ill manage the gear placements and make sure, to the best of my ability, that they wont blow (screamers, extensions, doubling up, GOOD PLACEMENTS). Ill take responsibility for my flight plan, also. The last thing I want is my belayer trying, from the ground, to estimate if Im going to hit a ledge or something and then slipping the rope to try to prevent it. Part of my job as leader is to know what is under me when I fall.

But let me guess: you rarely fall on lead while trad climbing, which is why your philosophy works for you. But ask a trad leader who is routinely climbs at his limit and takes falls on hard trad. I'll bet he'll disagree with you about the importance of dynamic belaying.

In reply to:
As for what anyone did when climbing with Gumbies before Gri Gris; thats a moot point. Gri Gris are here.

The issue might be moot, but there is a lesson to be learned, so I'll ask again: How did we manage to lead safely with beginners as our belayers before we had grigris? The question can be answered in four words or less.

-Jay


alpnclmbr1


Jul 23, 2003, 12:49 AM
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Re: trad... big no no [In reply to]
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The main reason not to use a gri gri for multi pitch trad is that it is way too heavy and bulky. The static factor is real to, and the evidence is good enough for me. (I will find some later)

As far as purposely letting the rope slip through an atc type device, I have never met anyone that actually tried to do this.

Not true. You've met me. Though the master of this technique is Tom Lindner.

As I recall you were not using an atc when we were sport climbing.
Are you saying that you advocate that technique as a replacement for jumping? If I had known you did not like to jump I probably wouldn't let you belay me on a route I could fall on. I certainly wouldn't think you would try to use that technique in combination with jumping.
It is true that I have never known anyone that I have climbed with in many years that advocated that practice.(slipping an atc) Is Tom using that technique since he blew his hip out? If I want to give a dynamic catch I use a gri gri or atc and jump, and so does everyone else I know.

In reply to:
I have seen people do this with a gri gri by holding the cam open.

That's a really bad idea. It would be almost impossible to control the amount of friction using the handle in the event of a fall.

Some of the best climbers I know do that all the time doing hero jumps off the anchors with forty plus foot falls. They do not use the handle, they just depress the cam and it provides the softest catch possible with the least amount of swing. You would have to be able to jump twenty plus feet to match what they were doing. Something that is not usually practical
In reply to:
It is easy to recover with a gri gri, it is not that easy with an atc type device.

It's very easy to stop the rope with an ATC. You simply move your hand into the full braking position. Keep in mind that you have control at all times. You don't let the rope run at full speed. The device is always providing some friction; you decide how much by the angle between the two strands of rope. If you start with the two strands about 60 degrees apart and smoothly bring your hand down to your hip, you will let a couple of feet of rope through the device, gradually stopping the fall.

-Jay

I don't see a point in doing that. The most you could let slide is a foot or two of rope, whereas with a jump you can do four to ten feet of rope without a risk of loosing control of the rope.


alpnclmbr1


Jul 23, 2003, 1:04 AM
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Bottom line: A gri-gri is only 176 grams heavier than an ATC.
176 plus the 49 gram atc you have to carry for raps, plus a biner to hold the atc. That adds up to 275 grams.

With that I could carry a 00 tcu, 0 tcu and two green aliens and still save weight.
I have spent a lot of money making my rack as light as possible, neutrinos etc.
Have you ever tried to do a squeeze chimney with a gri gri on your harness?

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Forums : Climbing Disciplines : Trad Climbing

 


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