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Petzl Grigri

Version A Version B
Grigri Grigri 2

Overview


Grigri
(#626, 1622, 2668)

Front Rear
Front Rear
 
Front: Handle Extended Top
Front: Handle Partially Extended Top
 
Front: Open for Rigging Rear: Open for Rigging
Front: Open for Rigging Rear: Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired one Petzl Grigri from Inner Mountain Outfitters in 1992, and a second from Charles Denning in 2009. I acquired another in 2017 as part of Bob Thrun's collection.

My Grigri is 118 mm. tall, 68 mm. wide, 43 mm. thick, and weighs 225 g.

The Grigri consists of a spring-loaded cam assembly mounted between a back plate and a swinging front plate. The two plates are stamped from 3.1 mm. aluminum alloy and then anodized. The plates are shaped roughly like a mirror-image "D." The two plates are loosely riveted together near the top, with a 16.5 mm. stamped stainless steel anvil that serves as spacer between the two. The front plate can rotate about 135° clockwise with respect to the rear plate and spacer, allowing one to open the Grigri for rigging. The two plates have inward dog-leg bends near the bottom, where 14.4 mm. attachment holes are punched through the sloping portion of the dog-leg. The front plate has a slot for capturing the head of the cam axle, and an arch to the right of the slot to provide support. The upper left half of the front plate is bent forward to provide a 10.4 mm. diameter curved surface for the rope to run over. A plastic spine fills the right side of the device between the plates.

The cam is cast from stainless steel. The cam can rotate about 135° clockwise with respect to the rear plate, but a strong spring opposes this rotation. If the belayed climber falls, the cam rotates clockwise, and the top surface of the cam squeezes the rope against the anvil. A spring-loaded plastic handle on the rear of cam gives the belayer more leverage to release the cam.

The front plate is stamped with "GRIGRI" and rigging illustrations. The spine is stamped with "0592A" and screened with the Petzl logo. The cam assembly is stamped with a rigging illustration consisting of a roped climber inside an arrow. The rear of the cam assembly has "91" inside a star-burst that might indicate the month the cam was made. The handle has the Petzl logo molded into both sides. The rear plate is stamped with "ONLY FOR ROPE1UIAA MIN Ø10 MAX Ø11" (the "1" after "ROPE" has a circle around it), "MADE IN FRANCE-PATENTED." and rigging illustrations consisting of a hand holding a rope and a climber trailing a rope. It also has a warning sticker attached with the usual kinds of liability warnings that the American lawyers who seek to destroy our country make us suffer with. Amusingly, the warning is repeated in French - somehow I thought the French had more sense, my mistake.

Comments

The Grigri is a popular belay device among sport climbers, and since it provides a hands-off belay, it is required in some climbing gyms where the competence of the clientele is questioned by the liability insurance companies. In these situations, the Grigri is a good choice. It is also popular on big walls where the belayer is snoozing on the 'ledge groovin' on tunes while the leader is spending hours on an aid lead. Although its nice to know that the device will work if I peal, even if my second is inattentive, I don't choose my second that way.

Having said that the Grigri is a fine device, let me tell you a story.

One day, my friend Bruce Smith (of On Rope 1) called me over to his sales area and said,

"Gary, I hear you don't like the Grigri."

"Yes."

"In fact, I heard you say that it ______."

"Not exactly, but I'll go along with that, for my purposes."

"Tell me one thing - just one thing - wrong with the Grigri!"

"You can't use it to rappel on doubled rope."

"OK, tell me another."

"Well, since I'm now carrying another device to let me rappel on double rope, it weighs more than nothing and is bigger than nothing."

Actually, you can rappel on double ropes, but it is a nuisance (Bruce knows how, he just didn't think of how to do it fast enough to answer me quickly). The point is, the device is fine for some things, but for others, other devices may be more appropriate. At that time I was climbing more, including aid pitches where we would end up rappelling the lead and haul lines, and I needed a convenient double rope device. This wasn't normal sport climbing, and for what I was doing, the Grigri wasn't it.

And now, more facts. The Grigri has a cam that locks up when the climber falls. Releasing the cam involves squeezing the Grigri. Its a bit tiring, but if your hand lets go, the fallen climber stops. Very nice. There is also a handle to give the belayer more leverage (it's on the other side, and can't be seen in the photos). My opinion is that the handle gives too much leverage, making it too easy to drop the leader.


Grigri 2
(#1727)

Front View Rear View : Open for Rigging
Front View Rear View Front View: Open for Rigging

Technical Details

I acquired my Petzl Grigri 2 from gotyourgear.com in 2011.

My Petzl Grigri 2 is 57 mm. long, 101 mm. wide, 44 mm. high, and weighs 171 g.

The Grigri 2 is a smaller version of the original Grigri. I will background the Grigri description in gray, and indicate the changes in black:

The Grigri 2 consists of a spring-loaded cam assembly mounted between a back plate and a swinging front plate. The two plates are stamped from 2.4 mm. aluminum alloy and then anodized. The plates are shaped roughly like a avocado. The two plates are loosely riveted together near the top, with a 12.5 mm. stamped stainless steel anvil that serves as spacer between the two. The front plate can rotate about 135° clockwise with respect to the rear plate and spacer, allowing one to open the Grigri for rigging. The two plates have inward bends near the bottom, where 16.9 × 15.0 subtriangular attachment holes are punched through the sloping portion of the plates. The front plate has a slot for capturing the head of the cam axle, and an arch to the right of the slot to provide support. The upper left half of the front plate is bent forward to provide an 11.8 mm. diameter curved surface for the rope to run over. A plastic spine fills the right side of the device between the plates.

The cam is cast from stainless steel. The cam can rotate about 75° clockwise with respect to the rear plate, but a strong spring opposes this rotation. If the belayed climber falls, the cam rotates clockwise, and the top surface of the cam squeezes the rope against the anvil. A spring-loaded plastic handle on the rear of cam gives the belayer more leverage to release the cam.

The front plate is stamped with "GRIGRI," a book-with-an-"i" icon, and rigging illustrations. The spine is printed with the Petzl logo. The cam assembly is stamped with a rigging illustration consisting of a roped climber inside an arrow. The cam assembly has the Petzl logo cast into it. The handle has "made in France" molded into the rear side. The rear plate is printed with "11193FR9051;" an inventory control code, a book-with-an-"i" icon; a divided line segment with the division marks labeled below with "Ø10 MAX Ø11 8.9," "9.4, "10.3, and 11mm" and the three segments labeled above with "**," "***," and "**," respectively; "ONLY FOR ROPE1UIAA "(the "1" after "ROPE" has a circle around it)' "WARNING : PROPER TRAINING IS ESSENTIAL BEFORE USE;" and "prEN15151-1 UIAA."

Comments

The very early GriGri 2s were recalled for a manufacturing defect. Mine is one of the first ones that became available after the recall.

I like the size reduction. The Grigri 2 is still a complex device that works well in some situations, but I still prefer the K.I.S.S. principle for general use.