Soloist

5:19 p.m. on October 2, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

I am looking for information on roped solo climbing. Specifically soloist devices and recommendations on technique. For a few years now I have been using the following system, mostly on low angled easy rock and ice:

1 Fixing one rope end at the bottom

2 Rat nesting rope in my pack

3 Attaching a couple prusiks to the rope then my harness

4 Climb as usual placing pro and paying out rope from my pack and through the prussiks

5 Fix the rope at halfway mark, rappel to retrieve gear an ascend the fixed line... and so on

Not the greatest system, I know. I also know by posting this ? Ive opened up the door to immense lecturing and criticism, but try to be gentle please. Im just interested in gettin input from the other soloists on this board.

Thanks

7:20 p.m. on October 2, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Brandon, Brandon Lampley

Sounds like you have realized prussiks are not an option, not even for easy terrain. NOT AN OPTION, period. I know someone will disagree.

Clove hitches are the low-tech option that is safe, and not much harder to manipulate than prussiks. After that, there are the devices. Some work well for aid, some for free, some kinda for both.

I use a Gri-gri now. You can find info on modifying one specifically for soloing, but the standard version works fine, great for aid, not as good for free (the modified version feeds better)

Have used a soloaid a lot, works great for aid, not really an option for free (requires on a little less manipulation than a clove hitch).

used twice, Soloist, works reasonably well for aid and free.

used once, Silent partner, work great for both, expensive and heavy.

You'll learn from experience the best set of techniques for you. Always back up whatever device you use, it'll save you one day (unless your prussik slices the rope...again. prussik = bad) Experiment will a rope bucket for carrying the rope. Alternatively, backup by clipping in the rope a few times in the extra length and kill two birds with one stone (backups and rope carrying to cut down the feeding drag)

Have fun practicing, be safe. BTW, any of these soloing techniques on ice should scare you. The static 'belay' will make for high forces on your top pro. People use tricks to make the belay 'dynamic'. Hanging pack or haulbag, incorporating screamers, etc. Same tricks that are used for hard aid soloing.

Quote:

I am looking for information on roped solo climbing. Specifically soloist devices and recommendations on technique. For a few years now I have been using the following system, mostly on low angled easy rock and ice:

1 Fixing one rope end at the bottom

2 Rat nesting rope in my pack

3 Attaching a couple prusiks to the rope then my harness

4 Climb as usual placing pro and paying out rope from my pack and through the prussiks

5 Fix the rope at halfway mark, rappel to retrieve gear an ascend the fixed line... and so on

Not the greatest system, I know. I also know by posting this ? Ive opened up the door to immense lecturing and criticism, but try to be gentle please. Im just interested in gettin input from the other soloists on this board.

Thanks

9:58 a.m. on October 3, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Will any of those devices you mentioned work with double or twin ropes. Also, where can you purchase these devices. All of the climbing stores around here look at you as if youre absolutely crazy for wanting climb solo and therefore dont carry soloist gagets except the grigri, but theyll never tell you it can be used to solo. They actually make you afraid to even ask that question.

Quote:

Sounds like you have realized prussiks are not an option, not even for easy terrain. NOT AN OPTION, period. I know someone will disagree.

Clove hitches are the low-tech option that is safe, and not much harder to manipulate than prussiks. After that, there are the devices. Some work well for aid, some for free, some kinda for both.

I use a Gri-gri now. You can find info on modifying one specifically for soloing, but the standard version works fine, great for aid, not as good for free (the modified version feeds better)

Have used a soloaid a lot, works great for aid, not really an option for free (requires on a little less manipulation than a clove hitch).

used twice, Soloist, works reasonably well for aid and free.

used once, Silent partner, work great for both, expensive and heavy.

You'll learn from experience the best set of techniques for you. Always back up whatever device you use, it'll save you one day (unless your prussik slices the rope...again. prussik = bad) Experiment will a rope bucket for carrying the rope. Alternatively, backup by clipping in the rope a few times in the extra length and kill two birds with one stone (backups and rope carrying to cut down the feeding drag)

Have fun practicing, be safe. BTW, any of these soloing techniques on ice should scare you. The static 'belay' will make for high forces on your top pro. People use tricks to make the belay 'dynamic'. Hanging pack or haulbag, incorporating screamers, etc. Same tricks that are used for hard aid soloing.

Quote:

I am looking for information on roped solo climbing. Specifically soloist devices and recommendations on technique. For a few years now I have been using the following system, mostly on low angled easy rock and ice:

1 Fixing one rope end at the bottom

2 Rat nesting rope in my pack

3 Attaching a couple prusiks to the rope then my harness

4 Climb as usual placing pro and paying out rope from my pack and through the prussiks

5 Fix the rope at halfway mark, rappel to retrieve gear an ascend the fixed line... and so on

Not the greatest system, I know. I also know by posting this ? Ive opened up the door to immense lecturing and criticism, but try to be gentle please. Im just interested in gettin input from the other soloists on this board.

Thanks

10:47 a.m. on October 3, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Old school method

The old pay out a bit of slack and clove hitch it to locking biners through your harness would probably work fine with double ropes. Though cluttery.

It seems like it is the oldest method and the least mechanized and would do all right for what you are proposing. Otherwise for single ropes, the gri gri is a good way to go and you can use it for other applications. Brandon gave a really thorough and good review of most of the options.

matt s

11:08 a.m. on October 3, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Soloist, modified Gri-Gri

Both Soloist and Gri-Gri need technique and exercise for feeding rope. The weight of incoming or outcoming rope "locks" both devices. Someone uses knots on the harness each 3-4 metres, I prefer using a Petzl Basic (a Wild Country Ropeman works also), that locks one-way, so that the rope can be taken out (or fed in) when it's needed.

The so called "not modified" Gri-Gri is anyway difficult to feed (tends to lock very easily); and consider that a little hole has to be made in any case on the "ear" of it to insert a cordelet (for clipping in a carabiner). Infact, both devices need a chest harness to keep them vertically against the chest.

The main problem with the Soloist is that it could not lock in case of a gradual sliding of the rope; therefore, the manufacturer, Wren, doesn't guarantee it in case of falls in a traverse or similar situations (that's why it is not CE certified). Second problem is that the device is "closed"; the rope has to be fed in from the head, whilst the Gri-Gri can be inserted at any point. This can be a real problem with some manoeuvers at belays.

The modified Gri-Gri works (relatively) better than the Soloist; the idea is semi-locking the cam in the closed position (free rope); this is made (at less this is the only system I know) making a little hole in the frame and cam and inserting a small stick (sort of toothpick), that in case of fall breaks and lets the cam open and lock. This modification is ABSOLUTELY to be made by or with a person who knows really how to do it; any improvisation here it's extremely dangerous (sorry for the sermon, but...); once modified (in any way, also the simple ear hole) the Gri-Gri loses all warranty and certification, and use is at one own's risk.

hope it helps, Fil K

11:23 a.m. on October 3, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

ropes for Soloist and Gri-Gri

Single rope, better under 10mm (9.7-9.9); 10.5 doesn't slide enough.

fil K

12:04 p.m. on October 3, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Brandon, Brandon Lampley
Re: Soloist, modified Gri-Gri

The more common way to midify the grigri so it feeds better involves removing the 'flap' where the rope enters the device.

A stock grigri with absolutely no alterations works acceptably well.

I want to stress that modified grigri soloing is an 'expert' solution. What I mean is that you have to take the responsibility for the alterations and the risk involved. Don't do this unless you are incredibly familiar with the device, roped soloing, and your own risk tolerance.

Quote:

Both Soloist and Gri-Gri need technique and exercise for feeding rope. The weight of incoming or outcoming rope "locks" both devices. Someone uses knots on the harness each 3-4 metres, I prefer using a Petzl Basic (a Wild Country Ropeman works also), that locks one-way, so that the rope can be taken out (or fed in) when it's needed.

The so called "not modified" Gri-Gri is anyway difficult to feed (tends to lock very easily); and consider that a little hole has to be made in any case on the "ear" of it to insert a cordelet (for clipping in a carabiner). Infact, both devices need a chest harness to keep them vertically against the chest.

The main problem with the Soloist is that it could not lock in case of a gradual sliding of the rope; therefore, the manufacturer, Wren, doesn't guarantee it in case of falls in a traverse or similar situations (that's why it is not CE certified). Second problem is that the device is "closed"; the rope has to be fed in from the head, whilst the Gri-Gri can be inserted at any point. This can be a real problem with some manoeuvers at belays.

The modified Gri-Gri works (relatively) better than the Soloist; the idea is semi-locking the cam in the closed position (free rope); this is made (at less this is the only system I know) making a little hole in the frame and cam and inserting a small stick (sort of toothpick), that in case of fall breaks and lets the cam open and lock. This modification is ABSOLUTELY to be made by or with a person who knows really how to do it; any improvisation here it's extremely dangerous (sorry for the sermon, but...); once modified (in any way, also the simple ear hole) the Gri-Gri loses all warranty and certification, and use is at one own's risk.

hope it helps, Fil K

12:08 p.m. on October 3, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Brandon, Brandon Lampley
Re: ropes for Soloist and Gri-Gri

Depends on what you climb. I will not repeatedly jug a 9.anything rope on a solo wall, scary, but i don't want to try to feed the freaking 11 while i'm soloing on free stuff.

Quote:

Single rope, better under 10mm (9.7-9.9); 10.5 doesn't slide enough.

fil K

12:35 p.m. on October 3, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: ropes for Soloist and Gri-Gri

OK, scary or whatever, but anyway nothing over 10mm (or, say, 10.2) will slide enough in a Gri-Gri used as solo-belay device or Soloist. Too much friction.

1:12 p.m. on October 3, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

being the dummy i am

Quote:

3 Attaching a couple prusiks to the rope then my harness

4 Climb as usual placing pro and paying out rope from my pack and through the prussiks

$$ these i do not understand fully. i say soloing is for fools, dont do it, the ground is hard and it hurts but, this is one of the most cheerish'd ways i like to climb. i am fully focused at what is going on around me and the task at hand and afterwards and during the climb i feel so alive. emense feeling being alone in the hills. i sometimes solo up rts next to the hwy here and sit and watch passing cars for an hour or so.

i usually drag a rope(s) behind me for rapping / bailing off the climb, i.e., not placing pro.

when i do place pro, i anchor off the middle of the rope tie into both ends and climb and place pro as i climb up, spacing it close anchor off

1:15 p.m. on October 3, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

being the dummy i am

Quote:

3 Attaching a couple prusiks to the rope then my harness

4 Climb as usual placing pro and paying out rope from my pack and through the prussiks

$$ these i do not understand fully. i say soloing is for fools, dont do it, the ground is hard and it hurts but, this is one of the most cheerish'd ways i like to climb. i am fully focused at what is going on around me and the task at hand and afterwards and during the climb i feel so alive. emense feeling being alone in the hills. i sometimes solo up rts next to the hwy here and sit and watch passing cars for an hour or so.

i usually drag a rope(s) behind me for rapping / bailing off the climb, i.e., not placing pro.

when i do place pro, i anchor off the middle of the rope, tie into both ends and climb and place pro as i climb up, spacing it close together near the anchor and father apart as i go up. anchor off, untie the ends pull rope up, rap down and then climb back up...repeat works for me.

belay off
john

1:23 p.m. on October 3, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

stock grigri

Right to stress upon the fact that solo climbing with modified gri gri is something not for beginners. I would add that solo climbing in general implies a lot of risk.

Regarding the gri-gri modifications, the gri-gri has to be kept vertically against the chest. The only way to do it - as far as I know - is making a little hole on the "ear" (the round edge where the ropes slides when lowering the partner). You mean the gri-gri can be just connected to the harness?

All depends on what you mean for

1:24 p.m. on October 3, 2001 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
408 forum posts
Clove Hitch + gri gri

Quote:

Clove hitches are the low-tech option that is safe, and not much harder to manipulate than prussiks. After that, there are the devices. Some work well for aid, some for free, some kinda for both.

I think a clove hitch on two locking carabiners is the way to go. Easy to feed once you get the hang of it and easy to undo if you weight the heck out of it. No moving parts. Purty failsafe. Backup knots in the rope still recommended.

Quote:

I use a Gri-gri now. You can find info on modifying one specifically for soloing, but the standard version works fine, great for aid, not as good for free (the modified version feeds better)

I have a only slightly modified Gri Gri. Didn't completely cut the flap off but did round a nice radiused grove for the rope to feed into. Best device I've seen and/or used. Tie into a chest harness. Back up knots also recommended. Feeds semi ok with a BD hotline (9.6mm?). Absolutely awesome for TRing as you can ascend or descend quite easily without reconfiguring. I think for descending especially single 9mm + diameter lines, as long as its not too far (excessive heat build up not a good thing...), the gri gri is the best thing going. Awesome device, many uses.

Brian in SLC

3:19 p.m. on October 3, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: being the dummy i am

Quote:

Quote:

3 Attaching a couple prusiks to the rope then my harness

4 Climb as usual placing pro and paying out rope from my pack and through the prussiks

$$ these i do not understand fully. i say soloing is for fools, dont do it, the ground is hard and it hurts but, this is one of the most cheerish'd ways i like to climb. i am fully focused at what is going on around me and the task at hand and afterwards and during the climb i feel so alive. emense feeling being alone in the hills. i sometimes solo up rts next to the hwy here and sit and watch passing cars for an hour or so.

i usually drag a rope(s) behind me for rapping / bailing off the climb, i.e., not placing pro.

when i do place pro, i anchor off the middle of the rope, tie into both ends and climb and place pro as i climb up, spacing it close together near the anchor and father apart as i go up. anchor off, untie the ends pull rope up, rap down and then climb back up...repeat works for me.

 

How do you pay out rope(ie grigri , clove hitches, etc)or is the full length of the doubled rope left slack..yikkes!!

Quote:

belay off
john

4:56 p.m. on October 3, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Brandon, Brandon Lampley
Re: stock grigri

http://www.geocities.com/nate_beckwith/grigri.html

Link to one of the modification pages.

The grigri feeds better when held against the chest, but this isn't mandatory. A lot of folks claim the fall catching ability is much better when only attached to the sit harness.

It's not perfect, but saves $ for someone to use a stock gri gri connected just to the harness for solo leading. Certainly a lot less work than prussiks or clove hitches.

Back to the original poster. I'd say use the clove hitch on 2 biners, for the terrain your describing, would be fine. If you are going to do a lot of roped lead soloing, or on harder free climbing, get a grigri or a soloist. I agree with brian, the grigri is about the most versatile piece of gear in years.

Quote:

Right to stress upon the fact that solo climbing with modified gri gri is something not for beginners. I would add that solo climbing in general implies a lot of risk.

Regarding the gri-gri modifications, the gri-gri has to be kept vertically against the chest. The only way to do it - as far as I know - is making a little hole on the "ear" (the round edge where the ropes slides when lowering the partner). You mean the gri-gri can be just connected to the harness?

All depends on what you mean for

7:46 p.m. on October 3, 2001 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,430 reviewer rep
5,363 forum posts
harumph! The Old Greybearded One mumbles incoherently --

First, the usual disclaimer - Climbing is hazardous to your health. It can result in serious injury, death, dismemberment, and other undesirable things. Soloing is even more dangerous. Only insane persons even consider soloing (as the dawg said below). Do not climb solo, roped or unroped.

Ok, having said that, OGBO mouths off on what he does over the past few decades that have included a bunch of solos on rock and alpine (no, OGBO may be senile, but he doesn't solo on glaciers, especially when they have potentially hidden crevasses).

Rule number one - just as "the leader must NEVER fall," the solo climber must NEVER fall. This implies that you should never solo on anything that is close to your limit. So if you climb 5.12 on lead on trad without ever falling, you should probably limit yourself to 5.9 or easier on top rope solo, 5.8 on lead rope solo, 5.7 on unroped solo.

Rule number two - falls do happen, so consider what the consequence will be when (not if, but when) you fall. Will you crater? Is your pro adequate?

Rule number two implies that you should practice a few falls with your chosen method of protection. What does it feel like when you come off unroped and deck? What happens to your system and what does it feel like when you fall toprope, or on lead?

Rule number three - always back up any belay system you use when solo. For example, when you first try top rope solo, use a second rope with a different system (one with a Soloist and the second with a clove hitch, for example, or one with some device and the second a top rope belay from your regular belay slave). Same thing for lead solo - use a backup top rope for your first tries. The idea here is to get your rope management system down pat in a safe manner. Once you get the system smooth, then use other forms of backup - on top rope solo, use a following clove hitch so that if your modified grigri fails (or slips on that wet rope from the sudden rainstorm), you go no farther than the clove hitch. Same type of thing with lead rope solo - clove hitch a loop or two that gets taken up as you climb, then move the hitch when you get close while standing in a stable spot. Wren's web site has some illustrations of rope management for their 3 products that will work with other products and systems.

Comments on systems - Like the dawg, I don't really understand your description of your system, but as far as I do, it scares me. If I were at your crag and saw you, I suspect OGBO would mumble in his beard something like, "that there setup don't look too swift, sonny, sartenly sumpin' I would never use," and then slink away to the parking lot to avoid being part of the body recovery team. Have you ever tried practice falls on it (backed up, of course)? If not, I would do a bunch of test falls, just to see how it behaves at various fall distances. Prussiks slip when loosened to move them then subjected to a sudden load (i.e., don't re-lock as they should). You might try one of the other prussik-like knots, but be aware that they can slip, too. And when sliding, the prussik loop (and other similar ones) can and does burn through from the friction.

I've tried using Petzl's Basic and a couple other ascenders. With the Petzl and a couple others with aggressive teeth, I found that the shock load from a fall noticeably damages the sheath of the rope (the newer Ropeman and the Tibloc are two others with aggressive teeth). Others with less aggressive teeth (original Jumars) slide a bit, and on wet and icey ropes, sometimes don't even do more than a bit of slowing. Ascenders really only work on top rope, anyway (Petzl comments on this on their website). That should be obvious, since the direction you want them to slide is the same direction the rope will point through the ascender when you fall from above your last piece of pro.

I have been using a Silent Partner for the past couple of years in the dry. Yes, Brandon, it is bulky and heavy, a real pain in off-widths and even vertical to slightly overhanging faces (by the way, are you really the Brendan I was with up in AK a few years back and ran into last Feb at the TeleFest in Bear Valley?). However, I have found it pretty dependable in test leaps, er, falls. Thankfully, I have yet to take a real fall. But then, I have only taken one leader fall in my life (a 40-footer from an overhang - when I called "falling", my belayer replied, "yes, I know!"). I don't intend to take any more (Rule Number One!). I don't count my unroped slide down a 45 deg ice couloir, which is my only use of self-arrest in anger.

The SP, as far as I have been able to determine in trying things out, is the only device that works in a wide range of falls (plus the clove hitch, but you have to feed the clove hitch and the SP feeds itself). Most of the others don't work if you turn over when falling or fall on a traverse. Even the SP has to get up to speed to lock the clutch (which means you have to train yourself to NOT grab the rope when falling).

The SP doesn't work when the rope is wet or icey. In fact, when conditions are icey, Wren says the centrifugal clutch can freeze and not lock. So for ice, I fall back on the clove hitch (ooops, bad pun. But that leads to Rule number four - never, ever, under any circumstances, solo on waterfalls or chandeliers, or any ice or snow.).

Sorry, folks, but I don't like grigris just in general. Yeah, ok, they work. But they are just too specialized for me. But I admit that the Old Guy has used one, and (foolishly, stupidly) borrowed someone else's modified one just to try for soloing (Rule number five - never ever under any circumstances trust someone else's modifications of hardware, especially when it is something that violates the manufacturer's warranty). It worked, but not as well as other systems I have tried. The nice thing about the SP is that once you learn to use it correctly, it's like having a good belayer who anticipates your moves. The grigri (and clove hitch) require a bit of attention (always in the midst of the crux move, of course).

As you have guessed by now, one of the major reasons for climbing several steps below your limit is that every system requires a bit of fiddling, even when practiced extensively. The SP is about the smoothest, but you still have to fiddle with the backup loops from time to time. It takes a bit of practice to avoid having to make the adjustments in the middle of the crux move.

Ok, true confession time - OGBO has violated every one of his aforelisted rules at one time or another (except for the rule about never falling when soloing -- ok, ok, there was that one slip on ice, but we were unroped, and it was only 45 degrees, and I did self-arrest after only 80 feet vertical distance).

(the Ancient Curmudgeon draws himself up, leaning on his titanium ice ax, hawks out a long streamer which ends up hanging from his beard, and says in a finally clear albeit quavery voice ...) Young Man, just remember my rules. Pay particular heed to the one about trying practice falls with your system. And also the one about backups. Oh, yeah, and the one about climbing solo well below your limits. Then maybe you too will be able to give unwanted advice to some young punk hotshot when you have managed to survive through 5 decades of climbing.

8:22 p.m. on October 3, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Brandon, Brandon Lampley
Bravo Bill

Man Bill, thats great advice and reading.

I was in AK in 2000, don't think I know you, haven't been to telefest.

Rowdy, if you've got an old rope, get a tr belay from someone and then take some falls on your solo system, should be fun. Better say the prussik method for after practicing the other systems.


Quote:

First, the usual disclaimer - Climbing is hazardous to your health. It can result in serious injury, death, dismemberment, and other undesirable things. Soloing is even more dangerous. Only insane persons even consider soloing (as the dawg said below). Do not climb solo, roped or unroped.

Ok, having said that, OGBO mouths off on what he does over the past few decades that have included a bunch of solos on rock and alpine (no, OGBO may be senile, but he doesn't solo on glaciers, especially when they have potentially hidden crevasses).

Rule number one - just as "the leader must NEVER fall," the solo climber must NEVER fall. This implies that you should never solo on anything that is close to your limit. So if you climb 5.12 on lead on trad without ever falling, you should probably limit yourself to 5.9 or easier on top rope solo, 5.8 on lead rope solo, 5.7 on unroped solo.

Rule number two - falls do happen, so consider what the consequence will be when (not if, but when) you fall. Will you crater? Is your pro adequate?

Rule number two implies that you should practice a few falls with your chosen method of protection. What does it feel like when you come off unroped and deck? What happens to your system and what does it feel like when you fall toprope, or on lead?

Rule number three - always back up any belay system you use when solo. For example, when you first try top rope solo, use a second rope with a different system (one with a Soloist and the second with a clove hitch, for example, or one with some device and the second a top rope belay from your regular belay slave). Same thing for lead solo - use a backup top rope for your first tries. The idea here is to get your rope management system down pat in a safe manner. Once you get the system smooth, then use other forms of backup - on top rope solo, use a following clove hitch so that if your modified grigri fails (or slips on that wet rope from the sudden rainstorm), you go no farther than the clove hitch. Same type of thing with lead rope solo - clove hitch a loop or two that gets taken up as you climb, then move the hitch when you get close while standing in a stable spot. Wren's web site has some illustrations of rope management for their 3 products that will work with other products and systems.

Comments on systems - Like the dawg, I don't really understand your description of your system, but as far as I do, it scares me. If I were at your crag and saw you, I suspect OGBO would mumble in his beard something like, "that there setup don't look too swift, sonny, sartenly sumpin' I would never use," and then slink away to the parking lot to avoid being part of the body recovery team. Have you ever tried practice falls on it (backed up, of course)? If not, I would do a bunch of test falls, just to see how it behaves at various fall distances. Prussiks slip when loosened to move them then subjected to a sudden load (i.e., don't re-lock as they should). You might try one of the other prussik-like knots, but be aware that they can slip, too. And when sliding, the prussik loop (and other similar ones) can and does burn through from the friction.

I've tried using Petzl's Basic and a couple other ascenders. With the Petzl and a couple others with aggressive teeth, I found that the shock load from a fall noticeably damages the sheath of the rope (the newer Ropeman and the Tibloc are two others with aggressive teeth). Others with less aggressive teeth (original Jumars) slide a bit, and on wet and icey ropes, sometimes don't even do more than a bit of slowing. Ascenders really only work on top rope, anyway (Petzl comments on this on their website). That should be obvious, since the direction you want them to slide is the same direction the rope will point through the ascender when you fall from above your last piece of pro.

I have been using a Silent Partner for the past couple of years in the dry. Yes, Brandon, it is bulky and heavy, a real pain in off-widths and even vertical to slightly overhanging faces (by the way, are you really the Brendan I was with up in AK a few years back and ran into last Feb at the TeleFest in Bear Valley?). However, I have found it pretty dependable in test leaps, er, falls. Thankfully, I have yet to take a real fall. But then, I have only taken one leader fall in my life (a 40-footer from an overhang - when I called "falling", my belayer replied, "yes, I know!"). I don't intend to take any more (Rule Number One!). I don't count my unroped slide down a 45 deg ice couloir, which is my only use of self-arrest in anger.

The SP, as far as I have been able to determine in trying things out, is the only device that works in a wide range of falls (plus the clove hitch, but you have to feed the clove hitch and the SP feeds itself). Most of the others don't work if you turn over when falling or fall on a traverse. Even the SP has to get up to speed to lock the clutch (which means you have to train yourself to NOT grab the rope when falling).

The SP doesn't work when the rope is wet or icey. In fact, when conditions are icey, Wren says the centrifugal clutch can freeze and not lock. So for ice, I fall back on the clove hitch (ooops, bad pun. But that leads to Rule number four - never, ever, under any circumstances, solo on waterfalls or chandeliers, or any ice or snow.).

Sorry, folks, but I don't like grigris just in general. Yeah, ok, they work. But they are just too specialized for me. But I admit that the Old Guy has used one, and (foolishly, stupidly) borrowed someone else's modified one just to try for soloing (Rule number five - never ever under any circumstances trust someone else's modifications of hardware, especially when it is something that violates the manufacturer's warranty). It worked, but not as well as other systems I have tried. The nice thing about the SP is that once you learn to use it correctly, it's like having a good belayer who anticipates your moves. The grigri (and clove hitch) require a bit of attention (always in the midst of the crux move, of course).

As you have guessed by now, one of the major reasons for climbing several steps below your limit is that every system requires a bit of fiddling, even when practiced extensively. The SP is about the smoothest, but you still have to fiddle with the backup loops from time to time. It takes a bit of practice to avoid having to make the adjustments in the middle of the crux move.

Ok, true confession time - OGBO has violated every one of his aforelisted rules at one time or another (except for the rule about never falling when soloing -- ok, ok, there was that one slip on ice, but we were unroped, and it was only 45 degrees, and I did self-arrest after only 80 feet vertical distance).

(the Ancient Curmudgeon draws himself up, leaning on his titanium ice ax, hawks out a long streamer which ends up hanging from his beard, and says in a finally clear albeit quavery voice ...) Young Man, just remember my rules. Pay particular heed to the one about trying practice falls with your system. And also the one about backups. Oh, yeah, and the one about climbing solo well below your limits. Then maybe you too will be able to give unwanted advice to some young punk hotshot when you have managed to survive through 5 decades of climbing.

1:26 a.m. on October 4, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: stock grigri

Quote:

http://www.geocities.com/nate_beckwith/grigri.html

Link to one of the modification pages.

Nice link. Seems quite similar to what is used here, but the small stick seems more effective.

Quote:

The grigri feeds better when held against the chest, but this isn't mandatory. A lot of folks claim the fall catching ability is much better when only attached to the sit harness.

I can't agree. A stock gri-gri wich is just attached on the sit harness can't work for solo leading. The gri-gri moves... any half meter or even less it locks... it would often need two hands to feed it... not a real solution, more like pure theory. Catching ability is exactly the same, in case of fall the gri gri is pulled in the direction of the rope anyway.

FK

3:38 a.m. on October 4, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: harumph! The Old Greybearded One mumbles incoherently --

Good rules.

Wait to find a SP on sale, even if I climb solo mostly where there's some snow or ice... (with the same money, here you buy 4 Gri-Gri and a half).

Just one comment. Apart from personal tastes, the modified Gri-Gri (well positioned) seems still mantaining a not marginal advantage on any other system. It locks anyway and rapidly. Locks on traverses, locks with icy, wet or muddy ropes, locks descending, locks when you need to rest on a protection. The thing locks, and does not damage the rope. It's nice to know that when climbing solo.

Fil K

10:28 a.m. on October 4, 2001 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
408 forum posts
Incoherant my arse!

Great stuff as per usual, Bill!

SP is too spendy and specialized...a gri gri can be used for belaying a climber, super easy to use for descent, and the mod's for soloing can be subtle and no biggie dealio.

But...YMMV!!

Brian in SLC

Quote:

First, the usual disclaimer - Climbing is hazardous to your health.

6:57 p.m. on October 4, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: harumph!

Quote:

(the Ancient Curmudgeon draws himself up, leaning on his titanium ice ax, hawks out a long streamer which ends up hanging from his beard, and says in a finally clear albeit quavery voice ...)

Could have done without the image.


chris

6:36 p.m. on October 5, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Brandon, Brandon Lampley
Modified GriGri Marketing

Man, when I start my modified grigri business, gonna have to hire Fil K as my evangelist.

Quote:

Good rules.

Wait to find a SP on sale, even if I climb solo mostly where there's some snow or ice... (with the same money, here you buy 4 Gri-Gri and a half).

Just one comment. Apart from personal tastes, the modified Gri-Gri (well positioned) seems still mantaining a not marginal advantage on any other system. It locks anyway and rapidly. Locks on traverses, locks with icy, wet or muddy ropes, locks descending, locks when you need to rest on a protection. The thing locks, and does not damage the rope. It's nice to know that when climbing solo.

Fil K

1:58 a.m. on October 6, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Hurted?

The quip doesn't sound very nice to me, but maybe I don't get it fully.

I won't answer in any case with puns, bad or nice. I like to write only about climbing issues.

Tho point is simple. The possibility you described, soloing with a stock gri-gri hanging from the harness doesn't work, and no solo climber - as far as I know - uses it. A quip doesn't solve anything.

Not interested in any word play on the net.

Fil K

10:38 a.m. on October 8, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: Hurted?

Quote:

The quip doesn't sound very nice to me, but maybe I don't get it fully.

I won't answer in any case with puns, bad or nice. I like to write only about climbing issues.

Tho point is simple. The possibility you described, soloing with a stock gri-gri hanging from the harness doesn't work, and no solo climber - as far as I know - uses it. A quip doesn't solve anything.

Not interested in any word play on the net.

Fil K

10:51 a.m. on October 8, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Ryan, RyanhH
Re: Hurted?

Fil said:
"Tho point is simple. The possibility you described, soloing with a stock gri-gri hanging from the harness doesn't work, and no solo climber - as far as I know - uses it."

Huh. Soloing with a stock gri-gri doesn't work? That's strange. I'm really confused. I thought I used a stock gri-gri to solo a big wall down in Zion a while ago. I even remember soloing the wall in a day, with no fixing, whereas most climbers take two days. Now, I ain't particularly fast, so an uninformed person might conclude that not only does a stock gri-gri work for soloing, but it works very well.
I another guy I know solos everything with a stock gri-gri. But he doesn't really know what he is doing. He only holds 5 or 6 speed records for big walls in Yosemite. I have to get a hold of him as soon as I can, and tell him that the system he's been using doesn't work.

11:13 a.m. on October 8, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Ryan, RyanhH
Warning! Danger, Will Robbinson!

Brandon said:
"The more common way to midify the grigri so it feeds better involves removing the 'flap' where the rope enters the device."

This is extremely dangerous. I did this to one of my gri-gri's, and then noticed how it made it unsafe to use (expensive mistake).
When a gri-gri is modified in this way, it can cut your rope. Play with one. When you are traversing left, the rope gets situated under the "camming arm" (the moving part of the gri-gri, with the black handle on it). If you fall like this, the rope can get yanked up underneath the camming arm. Now, the edge underneath the camming arm (it isn't normal exposed, you have to yank on arm, like it is locking, to expose it), isn't quiet sharp enough to shave with, but is probably sharp enough to give that old rope of yours a good chop.
There is a better (but still somewhat risky) way of modifying a gri-gri. Rather than cutting off the entire flap, cut a "U"-shaped groove in the flap, and file is smooth.
-RyanH

11:34 a.m. on October 8, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Ryan, RyanH
I disagree

Fil said:
"I can't agree. A stock gri-gri wich is just attached on the sit harness can't work for solo leading. The gri-gri moves... any half meter or even less it locks... it would often need two hands to feed it... not a real solution, more like pure theory."

A stock gri-gri does work. It is the perfered method of almost every soloist I know. I soloed a wall with one a while ago. The tricks are: 1)Use a 10mm rope, and 2)Hang the backup knot from your harness. This takes all the weight off the rope, so it can feed easily.
When used in this way aid climbing, I find that most of the time the gri-gri will self-feed, and you don't even have to dick with it. The movements during free climbing are usually too quick and jerky for this system to work well. But, I don't know why anyone would want to rope solo free climb lead. It's like being whipped. Sure, it can be fun, in the right situation. If the girl is wearing a leather suit and stuff, but most of the time it is just painful.
-RyanH

11:44 a.m. on October 8, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Ryan, RyanhH
Re: Old school method

There is another safe and simple method that a friend of mine likes. Clip four biners to your belay loop. Give yourself enough slack to climb a little bit, and then tie a figure eight on a bight, and clip it into two of the biners (gates opposed!). When you reach the limit of your slack. Tie a new figure eight (with some more slack), and clip that to the other two biners (gates opposed, of course). Then, unclip the old figure eight.
It sounds complicated, but when you actually use it, it is super simple. You don't need a back up knot,so you have way less shit than normal hanging from your harness.

Quote:

The old pay out a bit of slack and clove hitch it to locking biners through your harness would probably work fine with double ropes. Though cluttery.

It seems like it is the oldest method and the least mechanized and would do all right for what you are proposing. Otherwise for single ropes, the gri gri is a good way to go and you can use it for other applications. Brandon gave a really thorough and good review of most of the options.

matt s

11:51 a.m. on October 8, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: stock grigri

On behalf of all climbers out there, especially on behalf of the thousands that solo with GriGri's, I would appreciate it if you actually investigated what you assert. It is just as dangerous and stupid to give uneducated advice as it is to flaunt BS.

thanks, and have a great day

Quote:

Quote:

http://www.geocities.com/nate_beckwith/grigri.html

Link to one of the modification pages.

Nice link. Seems quite similar to what is used here, but the small stick seems more effective.

Quote:

The grigri feeds better when held against the chest, but this isn't mandatory. A lot of folks claim the fall catching ability is much better when only attached to the sit harness.

I can't agree. A stock gri-gri wich is just attached on the sit harness can't work for solo leading. The gri-gri moves... any half meter or even less it locks... it would often need two hands to feed it... not a real solution, more like pure theory. Catching ability is exactly the same, in case of fall the gri gri is pulled in the direction of the rope anyway.

FK

11:59 a.m. on October 8, 2001 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
408 forum posts
Stock?

Quote:

Fil said:
"Tho point is simple. The possibility you described, soloing with a stock gri-gri hanging from the harness doesn't work, and no solo climber - as far as I know - uses it."

Huh. Soloing with a stock gri-gri doesn't work? That's strange. I'm really confused. I thought I used a stock gri-gri to solo a big wall down in Zion a while ago.

So...no keeper cord to maintain the unit upright?

Interesting...

Certainly, the unit "should" lockup as long as the cam isn't prevented from camming...and a keeper cord to orient the unit would help a bunch. Is "should" good enough? Mebbie so...

Easy modification...

Brian in SLC

12:08 p.m. on October 8, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

What's yer point?

Quote:

On behalf of all climbers out there, especially on behalf of the thousands that solo with GriGri's, I would appreciate it if you actually investigated what you assert. It is just as dangerous and stupid to give uneducated advice as it is to flaunt BS.
thanks, and have a great day

I've soloed with a gri gri. And...mine is modified. I have a hole drilled into it to attach a keeper cord so I can clip it upright into a chest harness. I've also added a groove on the inside of the flap. Feeds a 9.6mm rope very well. I've practised falls with it. I still back it up. I know a bunch of folks that solo from very easy 5th to very hard A4+ with a gri gri as their device of choice.

You have something you want investigated? Mebbie someone already has. Instead of being vague, be specific.

You say BS? Be specific. What are you talkin' about? Unless you ask questions, then assuming that the advice given is "uneducated" is a tad short sited.

Brian in SLC

12:44 p.m. on October 8, 2001 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,430 reviewer rep
5,363 forum posts
Old story (probably apocryphal)

Since you didn't like the image, I won't repeat the full story. But that was a reference to an old story in climbing circles. Seems a certain famous dirtbag climber had just come down from a FA on the Grand, very dehydrated, standard filthy, unshaven, smelling of 2 weeks of backcountry sweat type climber. He walks into the Cowboy Bar (famous tourist trap bar in Jackson Hole, for those who don't know), and asks the barkeep for a free drink. Won't repeat the rest (I'm sure Brian in SLC knows it), but the "image" you didn't like appears.

Hey, if you're gonna hang around with climbers, ya gotta get used to the slime.

12:54 p.m. on October 8, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Brandon, Brandon Lampley
Re: Hurted?

Ryan, I had to cut down my big wall list by 2, must have been imagining those solo climbs with my stock grigri.

Quote:

Fil said:
"Tho point is simple. The possibility you described, soloing with a stock gri-gri hanging from the harness doesn't work, and no solo climber - as far as I know - uses it."

Huh. Soloing with a stock gri-gri doesn't work? That's strange. I'm really confused. I thought I used a stock gri-gri to solo a big wall down in Zion a while ago. I even remember soloing the wall in a day, with no fixing, whereas most climbers take two days. Now, I ain't particularly fast, so an uninformed person might conclude that not only does a stock gri-gri work for soloing, but it works very well.
I another guy I know solos everything with a stock gri-gri. But he doesn't really know what he is doing. He only holds 5 or 6 speed records for big walls in Yosemite. I have to get a hold of him as soon as I can, and tell him that the system he's been using doesn't work.

3:41 p.m. on October 8, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Ryan, RyanhH
Re: Stock?

Brian said:
"So...no keeper cord to maintain the unit upright?"

Nope. Completely stock. Just clip it to your belay loop with a locker, and go. You have to climb with a skinnier rope (10mm or 96.mm), and clip the back up knot to your harness (to take the weight off the "brake hand" end).

3:46 p.m. on October 8, 2001 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
408 forum posts
Belay keeper biner...

Quote:

Brian said:
"So...no keeper cord to maintain the unit upright?"

Nope. Completely stock. Just clip it to your belay loop with a locker, and go. You have to climb with a skinnier rope (10mm or 96.mm), and clip the back up knot to your harness (to take the weight off the "brake hand" end).

'Nother reason I like to clip the gri gri to my chest harness, the clip in point on the gri gri can sometimes get minor axis loaded on the biner and this orientation seems like potentially a bad deal. So...I've also bought one of them DMM lockers with the plastic thingee that keeps the gri gri oriented in major axis...kind of a pain to get in and out of but good piece of mind...

What wall in Zion(s) did you solo? Space Shot?

Brian in SLC

4:30 p.m. on October 8, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Ryan, RyanhH
Re: Belay keeper biner...

Brian asked:
"What wall in Zion(s) did you solo? Space Shot?"

Prodigal Son.
Of course, right as I was starting the 5.5 ("easy") unprotected chimney on the last pitch in complete darkness, it started down pouring. It seems I'm having one of "those" lives.
-Ryan

8:54 a.m. on October 9, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Retro old school

Sounds like basically the same system only with a figure eight(and no back up to the clove hitch). Probably a bit better, as I like the figure eight for peace of mind reasons better than the clove hitches.

matt s

(this isnt ryan hef. is it?? in SLC).

9:35 a.m. on October 9, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Ryan, RyanhH
Yup

Matt asked:
"(this isnt ryan hef. is it?? in SLC)."

Yes it is. Are you the Matt S I think you are, who I last ran into at the avalance forcast benefit? What's up!
Looks like you might be spending as much time as me stuck behind a computer, slacking off at work. ;)
-Ryan

11:02 a.m. on October 9, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Ryan, RyanhH
Re: stock grigri

Quote:

Quote:

http://www.geocities.com/nate_beckwith/grigri.html

Link to one of the modification pages.

The way of modifying a gri-gri described on the above web page is extremely dangerous. It can cut your rope. See my above post "Warning! Danger Will Robinson!".

11:21 a.m. on October 9, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: What's yer point?

My point is that it is uneducated of Fil to say that a stock GriGri can't work for soloing, just because it didn't work for him.

I understand how to modify one, that's nice that you do, however your response had nothing to do with my comment. I think that YOU should investigate and read the few comments above mine.

I don't need to ask Fil any questions. He said that soloing with an unmodified GriGri couldn't work. I know many people that solo that way, including myself, and it works great. Therefore his view is uneducated, as is your muddled comment.

BS means BULLSHIT. Fil was flaunting bullshit.

11:41 a.m. on October 9, 2001 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
408 forum posts
I's cornfused...

Quote:

My point is that it is uneducated of Fil to say that a stock GriGri can't work for soloing, just because it didn't work for him.

Sorry, didn't know you were just addressing Fil.

Quote:

I understand how to modify one, that's nice that you do, however your response had nothing to do with my comment. I think that YOU should investigate and read the few comments above mine.

I have read all the posts thank you very much. Perhaps you have done the same?

Quote:

I don't need to ask Fil any questions. He said that soloing with an unmodified GriGri couldn't work. I know many people that solo that way, including myself, and it works great. Therefore his view is uneducated, as is your muddled comment.

Soling naked works great too...but...there are consequences...even greater than a bad sunburn...

Uneducated? As was your vague and muddled comment to his "uneducated" post. Perhaps if you stated that you call BS by explaining that it works for you, your comment could have been better understood in the context for which it was intended.

Quote:

BS means BULLSHIT. Fil was flaunting bullshit.

'Pears there's plenty to go around...!

So...perhaps you can tell us muddled readers how many lead falls you've taken with that unrestained Gri Gri? Would certainly help clear the air...

"It is just as dangerous and stupid to give uneducated advice as it is to flaunt BS."

So...educate us. Why do you feel that an unmodified Gri Gri works for soloing? You have some sorta test data, real life data? Did it work in a lead fall? Do you think there's a chance it might not work in a lead fall? What are its shortcomings, in yer educated mind? Do you take any precautions? Aid or free climbing? Ice? All the above?

I think there is a very real possibity that a Gri Gri, if not "held" in a position which allows the cam action to function, will fail to hold a fall. Its failed to hold lead falls while used as a belay device for example (belayer pulled into cliff and gri gri couldn't cam). Since a brake hand is strongly recommended for belaying, to ensure the thing works, how do you compensate for not having a brake hand? Or...do you?

Everything "works" fine until you fall...and unless you do...in more'n few orientations...you don't really know... And if you don't fall, perhaps it doesn't really matter...to you...

How 'bout some edjumacation!

Thanks for your time...

Brian in SLC

11:43 a.m. on October 9, 2001 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
408 forum posts
The purty one...

Quote:

Matt asked:
"(this isnt ryan hef. is it?? in SLC)."

Yes it is. Are you the Matt S I think you are, who I last ran into at the avalance forcast benefit? What's up!

Pocahinton ain't got nuttin' on Matt...

Quote:

Looks like you might be spending as much time as me stuck behind a computer, slacking off at work. ;)
-Ryan

Benifit was fun, as usual! Yer not a Rockreation feller, by chance?

Brian in SLC

11:47 a.m. on October 9, 2001 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
408 forum posts
Whoa, lightbulb sunburned me...!

Quote:

Quote:

-Ryan

Hmmm....I'll bet I ran into you and yer pard on Sunday, LCC...in the boulders...you were with M...yah? Yah? How were my directions?

How was Green A?

Passed by ya after we got done on the Gate and went to Cranial. Fun day...LCC...16 years...just doesn't get old. Ran into the nicest folk too.

Brian in SLC

12:38 p.m. on October 9, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Brandon, Brandon Lampley
Speak for yourselves

Brian, Fil, calm yourselves. Is it not enough to hear that MANY people use the stock grigri, and that it works? I have also asserted previously that I and others believe it is MORE likely to catch a fall if attached only to the harness (belay loop). Opinion based on practice with and without a chest harness attachment. Yes, I've taken two big whippers solo leading with my stock grigri, no problems.

Explain what it is that you do and recommend, but please don't try to tell us that other people do or do not use a particular system, let's here from them too.

I'll say that I personally thought Fil's assertations were BS (bullshit if its unclear). Though I'm sure Fil knows most of the soloists in the world, apparently he missed the LARGE percentage that slap their stock grigri on and climb, well, the same stuff everybody else climbs with their modifieds, silent partners, soloists,....

 

Quote:

Quote:

My point is that it is uneducated of Fil to say that a stock GriGri can't work for soloing, just because it didn't work for him.

Sorry, didn't know you were just addressing Fil.

Quote:

I understand how to modify one, that's nice that you do, however your response had nothing to do with my comment. I think that YOU should investigate and read the few comments above mine.

I have read all the posts thank you very much. Perhaps you have done the same?

Quote:

I don't need to ask Fil any questions. He said that soloing with an unmodified GriGri couldn't work. I know many people that solo that way, including myself, and it works great. Therefore his view is uneducated, as is your muddled comment.

Soling naked works great too...but...there are consequences...even greater than a bad sunburn...

Uneducated? As was your vague and muddled comment to his "uneducated" post. Perhaps if you stated that you call BS by explaining that it works for you, your comment could have been better understood in the context for which it was intended.

Quote:

BS means BULLSHIT. Fil was flaunting bullshit.

'Pears there's plenty to go around...!

So...perhaps you can tell us muddled readers how many lead falls you've taken with that unrestained Gri Gri? Would certainly help clear the air...

"It is just as dangerous and stupid to give uneducated advice as it is to flaunt BS."

So...educate us. Why do you feel that an unmodified Gri Gri works for soloing? You have some sorta test data, real life data? Did it work in a lead fall? Do you think there's a chance it might not work in a lead fall? What are its shortcomings, in yer educated mind? Do you take any precautions? Aid or free climbing? Ice? All the above?

I think there is a very real possibity that a Gri Gri, if not "held" in a position which allows the cam action to function, will fail to hold a fall. Its failed to hold lead falls while used as a belay device for example (belayer pulled into cliff and gri gri couldn't cam). Since a brake hand is strongly recommended for belaying, to ensure the thing works, how do you compensate for not having a brake hand? Or...do you?

Everything "works" fine until you fall...and unless you do...in more'n few orientations...you don't really know... And if you don't fall, perhaps it doesn't really matter...to you...

How 'bout some edjumacation!

Thanks for your time...

Brian in SLC

1:20 p.m. on October 9, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

double yup

I would be the one you are thinking of. It is like a damn electronic reunion going on in here.

matt s

1:38 p.m. on October 9, 2001 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
408 forum posts
On our own hind legs, no less...

Quote:

Brian, Fil, calm yourselves.

Now don't you get all excited about me not being calm...har har...

Quote:

Is it not enough to hear that MANY people use the stock grigri, and that it works?

Gee, I guess I've got plenty of fingers to count the folks here that solo with a stock gri gri, ON ONE HAND. Sure, we all know tons of folk blah blah blah, but, they ain't speakin' up. So, no, its not enough for me, but, thanks for asking.

Quote:

I have also asserted previously that I and others believe it is MORE likely to catch a fall if attached only to the harness (belay loop). Opinion based on practice with and without a chest harness attachment. Yes, I've taken two big whippers solo leading with my stock grigri, no problems.

You assert this and give some evidence that you've checked it out. Excellant! Great data points. OK, now why do you think its more likely to catch a fall if attached unmodified to just the belay loop? Will it always orient correctly in a fall? You think better than a on chest harness?

I'm askin' 'cause I'm curious for me. I use a chest harness for several reasons. Easier for me to clip bomber gear above me, rope runs better up high for me out of the rope bag, I don't have to worry about flippin' upside down as much, and I think the Gri Gri has less chance of not loading the cam in a fall if held into an upright position between my harness and chest harness. Also, less chance of cross loading the gri gri on the minor axis of a locking biner.

Never said other folks way is wrong, but, since I'm totally willing to listen, I'd just like to understand what it is about your method that you think is better. That's all. All calm, cool and collected like. Who knows, mebbie I'll convert to unmodified?

Quote:

Explain what it is that you do and recommend, but please don't try to tell us that other people do or do not use a particular system, let's here from them too.

Why not? More data points are better. Prefer first hand but hearsay from quasi reliable sources ok too.

Open forum. Folks can say what they use if they want. Not sure I was stifling anyone. You?

Quote:

I'll say that I personally thought Fil's assertations were BS (bullshit if its unclear). Though I'm sure Fil knows most of the soloists in the world, apparently he missed the LARGE percentage that slap their stock grigri on and climb, well, the same stuff everybody else climbs with their modifieds, silent partners, soloists,....

Or, maybe has some interesting info not shared. Worth wondering. Lets hear here from everyone. Sometimes a fork gets twisted in for fun or just to be mean. As long as there's open dialog, fine.

Its fun for me, and informative. Please share. Thanks!

Brian in SLC

2:27 p.m. on October 9, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Brandon, Brandon Lampley
Re: On our own hind legs, no less...

We are all a bunch spending too much time stuck behind a desk, no? It sucks. I must quit my job and.....

I don't intend to convert you guys, only to let novices know that the stock grigri does work, they can use it for a while, gain some experience, and then decide if the deficiences warrant experiments in modification, or maybe another device. I'm also assuming some of the novice soloers have a grigri and can try out this system with no additional $ spent.

I use one of those fancy locking biners with the plastic arm to prevent crossloading the biner. When I was practicing with a stock and a friend's modified (hole in body for chest cord plus part of flap removed) I found a couple of things.

1. modified fed better for free climbing, but not much better than stock when backup loops were clipped to the harness. Was using a mammut 10 (maybe 10.2, can't rememer their sizing) kinda skinny.
2. Stock on harness oriented correctly in all falls, didn't notice any slippage
3. Modified (attached to chest harness). Seemed like in one head and face down fall the load line pressed the cam arm into my chest and some rope came through, subsequently pulled me right side up and locked. The grigri is limited in its orientation by your body orientation.

This is very limited data, and my own personal experience and interpretations. Most of us arguing here are probably set in our ways, based on our own experiences. Both these systems are going to catch falls, and I'm sure we all back them up anyway.

My final thoughts (promise). A lot of people use the stock grigri to solo lead. I feel it is safe (as safe or more so than other systems) to do so. Other systems work also, some better. The stock grigri is one of the least expensive options, and a good option for the beginner. A beginner has a good chance of ruining a grigri (and wasting money) if they modify it, and may even damage the device enough to make it dangerous.

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Brian, Fil, calm yourselves.

Now don't you get all excited about me not being calm...har har...

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Is it not enough to hear that MANY people use the stock grigri, and that it works?

Gee, I guess I've got plenty of fingers to count the folks here that solo with a stock gri gri, ON ONE HAND. Sure, we all know tons of folk blah blah blah, but, they ain't speakin' up. So, no, its not enough for me, but, thanks for asking.

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I have also asserted previously that I and others believe it is MORE likely to catch a fall if attached only to the harness (belay loop). Opinion based on practice with and without a chest harness attachment. Yes, I've taken two big whippers solo leading with my stock grigri, no problems.

You assert this and give some evidence that you've checked it out. Excellant! Great data points. OK, now why do you think its more likely to catch a fall if attached unmodified to just the belay loop? Will it always orient correctly in a fall? You think better than a on chest harness?

I'm askin' 'cause I'm curious for me. I use a chest harness for several reasons. Easier for me to clip bomber gear above me, rope runs better up high for me out of the rope bag, I don't have to worry about flippin' upside down as much, and I think the Gri Gri has less chance of not loading the cam in a fall if held into an upright position between my harness and chest harness. Also, less chance of cross loading the gri gri on the minor axis of a locking biner.

Never said other folks way is wrong, but, since I'm totally willing to listen, I'd just like to understand what it is about your method that you think is better. That's all. All calm, cool and collected like. Who knows, mebbie I'll convert to unmodified?

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Explain what it is that you do and recommend, but please don't try to tell us that other people do or do not use a particular system, let's here from them too.

Why not? More data points are better. Prefer first hand but hearsay from quasi reliable sources ok too.

Open forum. Folks can say what they use if they want. Not sure I was stifling anyone. You?

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I'll say that I personally thought Fil's assertations were BS (bullshit if its unclear). Though I'm sure Fil knows most of the soloists in the world, apparently he missed the LARGE percentage that slap their stock grigri on and climb, well, the same stuff everybody else climbs with their modifieds, silent partners, soloists,....

Or, maybe has some interesting info not shared. Worth wondering. Lets hear here from everyone. Sometimes a fork gets twisted in for fun or just to be mean. As long as there's open dialog, fine.

Its fun for me, and informative. Please share. Thanks!

Brian in SLC

2:53 p.m. on October 9, 2001 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
408 forum posts
Excellant!

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We are all a bunch spending too much time stuck behind a desk, no? It sucks. I must quit my job and.....

....climb....get kinda spoiled here especially before the ol' fall back of the clock...post work can get a few pitches in on quality rock. Thank goodness I live in Colorado...har har...

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I use one of those fancy locking biners with the plastic arm to prevent crossloading the biner.

Me too. DMM Belay Master. Super.

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My final thoughts (promise). A lot of people use the stock grigri to solo lead. I feel it is safe (as safe or more so than other systems) to do so. Other systems work also, some better. The stock grigri is one of the least expensive options, and a good option for the beginner. A beginner has a good chance of ruining a grigri (and wasting money) if they modify it, and may even damage the device enough to make it dangerous.

Nice! Good info. Thanks!

Hard to find info on soloing with any type of device. Just not that much in the written word about the subject. Seen a bunch of different stuff used, from Gibbs ascenders (not so bad really, no sharp teeth to shred the rope and works if rope is wet and muddy), Jumars rigged with surgical tubing (wow and ugh...), clove hitches, clippin' rope loops, etc. Interesting what folks will resort to climb...

Brian in SLC

6:52 p.m. on October 9, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Ryan, RyanhH
Re: Excellant!

I'll give my 2 cents, since it sounds like people want to hear it.
I have soloed 2 walls with an unmodified grigri. I have also soloed many smaller routes (2 and 3 pitches), and have soloed with it as part of a speed climbing system on about 10 or so walls.
Here is why I prefer it:
1)Safety: An improperly modified grigri can cut the rope (see my post "Warning! Danger, Will Robinson!"). A properly modified grigri still puts the rope at some risk for cutting, although much less. A stock grigri has essentially no rope cutting risk. If the grigri cuts your rope, your back up knot ain't gonna do nothin'.
I believe that a stock grigri is much more likely to catch an upside down fall than a modified grigri. Try this: hold your grigri in your hand by laying is smack across the center of you palm, just like you might pick it up. Try yanking the end of the rope out that should lock. It probably either won't lock, or it will have trouble locking. This is because the grigri is very dependant on leverage in order to lock. That is why the belay biner hole is way off to the side. If it is pinned down on both sides (such as by a chest harness and a sit harness), it doesn't have sufficent leverage to lock properly (this is precisely what makes it feed better).
2)Price and weight: I don't feel safe belaying someone else with a modified grigri, so I had to buy a second one to modify. That's $75 I wish I could have back. Plus, if you are doing a speed ascent of a big wall, you will probably be belaying and soloing with a grigri. It would suck to have to bring two.
3)A stock grigri is already set up to rappel. If you use the advanced "closed loop" soloing method, you never even have to take the grigri off the rope. This makes is super fast, safe, and simple.
4)The stock grigri seems to work fine for what I do. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. It helps to use a skinny rope (10mm), and clip the back up knot to your harness, so it takes most of the weight off the slack end.
The End.
-RyanH

6:58 p.m. on October 9, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Ryan, RyanhH
Re: The purty one...

Brian asked:
"Yer not a Rockreation feller, by chance?"

I was. I worked there for 4 years as an instructor, and climbed there a lot during that time. Now I'm too poor and strapped for time to have a membership there. :(
It's ok, though. I know I won't be a poor student forever. I might even finish before this decade is over!
-RyanH

2:04 p.m. on October 10, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Re: Excellant!

Great info guys. I recently tried the clove hitch on munter biners and it was easy but kind of a pain to feed the rope. I like the idea of using a gri gri cause you can quickly descend a single fixed line without rerigging. Maybe Ill try unmodified first and see if it feeds easily enough. Im curious to hear more about this "advanced closed loop system" By the way, Ill mostly be free climbing, so for those who use unmodified gri gri, do you use it only for aid or do you find its good for free as well.

Thanks


Quote:

I'll give my 2 cents, since it sounds like people want to hear it.
I have soloed 2 walls with an unmodified grigri. I have also soloed many smaller routes (2 and 3 pitches), and have soloed with it as part of a speed climbing system on about 10 or so walls.
Here is why I prefer it:
1)Safety: An improperly modified grigri can cut the rope (see my post "Warning! Danger, Will Robinson!"). A properly modified grigri still puts the rope at some risk for cutting, although much less. A stock grigri has essentially no rope cutting risk. If the grigri cuts your rope, your back up knot ain't gonna do nothin'.
I believe that a stock grigri is much more likely to catch an upside down fall than a modified grigri. Try this: hold your grigri in your hand by laying is smack across the center of you palm, just like you might pick it up. Try yanking the end of the rope out that should lock. It probably either won't lock, or it will have trouble locking. This is because the grigri is very dependant on leverage in order to lock. That is why the belay biner hole is way off to the side. If it is pinned down on both sides (such as by a chest harness and a sit harness), it doesn't have sufficent leverage to lock properly (this is precisely what makes it feed better).
2)Price and weight: I don't feel safe belaying someone else with a modified grigri, so I had to buy a second one to modify. That's $75 I wish I could have back. Plus, if you are doing a speed ascent of a big wall, you will probably be belaying and soloing with a grigri. It would suck to have to bring two.
3)A stock grigri is already set up to rappel. If you use the advanced "closed loop" soloing method, you never even have to take the grigri off the rope. This makes is super fast, safe, and simple.
4)The stock grigri seems to work fine for what I do. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. It helps to use a skinny rope (10mm), and clip the back up knot to your harness, so it takes most of the weight off the slack end.
The End.
-RyanH

5:28 p.m. on October 15, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Ryan, RyanhH
Re: Whoa, lightbulb sunburned me...!

Nope. It wasn't me. It must have been my damned evil twin again. He said he was going to the BD gear swap too. Did you see him there? He looks much like me, except he has an evil glint is his eye. I climb harder, and am taller, though.

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-Ryan

Hmmm....I'll bet I ran into you and yer pard on Sunday, LCC...in the boulders...you were with M...yah? Yah? How were my directions?

How was Green A?

Passed by ya after we got done on the Gate and went to Cranial. Fun day...LCC...16 years...just doesn't get old. Ran into the nicest folk too.

Brian in SLC

7:32 p.m. on October 15, 2001 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
408 forum posts
Yepper, evil twin...

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Nope. It wasn't me. It must have been my damned evil twin again. He said he was going to the BD gear swap too. Did you see him there? He looks much like me, except he has an evil glint is his eye. I climb harder, and am taller, though.

Musta been, 'cause no one in their right mind would admit to havin' climbed with Ben F...

...or tried to explain the "loop" method for soloing...

Still confused...but...have less junk gear and some new (used) booty...

Brian in SLC

10:43 a.m. on October 17, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Agree, instead

Ryan,

I just finished reading all the relevant amount of posts on the solo subject - a long long pitch. Some posts, it seems, have abandoned the standard level of politeness it's needed when communicating with unknown persons (maybe this is just my very personal taste...). I'll simply ignore them, Brian has said enough.

But it seems some misunderstanding has occurred between us (maybe with some other too).

When I wrote that a stock gri-gri doesn't work, this was referred exlusively to free climbing. I thought this was the point of the original poster (as it seems somehow confirmed from himself). Sure my fault having not specified this. I did not think at all to aid climbing. Actually what I meant with

11:00 p.m. on November 18, 2001 (EST)
Devices/CH etc.

I've never used your system of prussiks although it sounds like an ok system. My personal method is clove hitch to two
lockers or one BELAY MASTER LOCKER (DMM) that will NEVER cross-load.

For the most part, I have always refrained from using mechanical devices on the rope unless I'm just jumaring.
When I was first learning how to solo on TR, one guy told me that the Petzl Basic (or Ascension) works great. A week later I found out that he took a 25-foot whipper (on TR!!) onto his backup Fig8 'cause the jumar disengaged from the rope.

With this in mind, in terms of devices, here are your options:
SoloAid (Wren Industries):
Basicly a fancy jumar. I have never used this but the principle is somewhat like that of a gri-gri or jumar: feed the rope manually and let the device's sharp teeth catch your fall while your rope quickly frays.

Soloist (Wren):
Unique straight-forward design that is self-feeding. Relies on rope weight and specific angle to engage cam mechanism. Must be used with chest harness. Great device but WILL NOT HOLD HORIZONTAL/UPSIDE-DOWN FALLS! Great for TR but WAY scary on lead (i.e. when heel-hooking).

Silent Partner (Wren):
Self-feeding wonder. It uses a clove hitch's "skip" around a wheel to feed rope. Very smooth rope feed. Best for free-climbing. Doesn't fray the rope. No chest harness needed. CONS: Big("large chalkbag" big), a bit bulky.
$200, way over the roof for me (I borrowed it from a friend).

All the other ways such as gri-gris and C.Hitches have already been covered. Remember, no-matter what system you use, ALWAYS back it up(best w/Fig8 clipped to harness w/locker).

Safe climbing and don't listen to the anti-soloists, its YOUR climb after all.

Dmitriy Z.

November 28, 2014
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