Big Walls Forum

Big Wall Index => Big Wall Forum => Topic started by: jeffo on September 02, 2006, 04:52:18 pm

Title: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: jeffo on September 02, 2006, 04:52:18 pm
Just a quick question for all those soloers (is that a word?)

I use a grigri/backup for soloing but have come to question the manner in which I attache the grigri to my belay device.  I'm worried about degrees of freedom in that I usually just clip the locking biner through both leg loops and belt loop.  The device could get torqued the wrong way.  Do any of you use an extension sling or other method to allow the device more room to move?

Thanks and Cheers (_)?

J
Title: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: caribouman on September 04, 2006, 06:26:05 am
Jeffo, try doing a search/ scroll through the previous posts:  you'll find a whole previous discussion on the topic you're asking about.  Caribouman
Title: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: Garbonzo on September 04, 2006, 11:09:28 pm
I think the general consensus is that:

1.  Yes, the gri-gri and torque and break the biner if god hates you enough that day.

2.  Use a maillon rapide link on your belay loop for as much safety as you're gonna get while soloing.

3.  Soloing is hard and scary.

4.  Gri-Gri's are designed and made by french people, aka freedom land.  Do you trust the french?
Title: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: routehogger on September 06, 2006, 12:56:58 am
I'm currently trying to decide between a wren Solo Aid and a GriGri... any preferences?
Title: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: caribouman on September 06, 2006, 09:56:47 am
Garbonzo...

  - You have just suggested that someone use a Maillon Rapide link in their soloing system... which is made by the very same French company that makes the Gri-Gri.  C'est vrai, non?

   -Freedom?  You try skiing out of bounds in America.

  -Trust the French?  For what, gear? They're just as scared of cratering as you.  Nobody who uses it makes intentionally bad gear.  Think Black Diamond & Wild Things, both started by Frenchies.

 Now if you're asking about their governments' geo-political interests...  that's for another forum.
Title: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: buffalohorn on September 06, 2006, 10:46:03 am
I prefer the gri-gri to solo with. I've modified it for soloing. See the forum for more of this craziness.
Title: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: mungeclimber on September 06, 2006, 12:14:00 pm
What shape Rapide do you use?

does it matter?


i like the gri gri, but there was a tale of the trigger getting flipped in a fall.
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: xtrmecat on October 27, 2006, 03:08:53 pm
  I have both a grigri and a soloist and still prefer the soloist. May be that I have used it free climbing for so long that it is what works. Backup, backup, backup, and always backup. Solo kind of adds to the climb in my opinion. Also search supertaco and RC.com for grigri mods. Not done on mine but looks pretty simple. Find what works for you, back it up and go for it. Next thing you know is you can trust it more than a partner, doesn't talk back, but is poor company though.
  Bob
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: Paulhauser on March 21, 2009, 03:30:50 pm
Sorry for bringing back an old topic, but I did not want to start a new one (and it shows I did some searching :-) )

I'm doing a lot of soloing these times and just got a Grigri for this purpose. So far I have used the clove hitch method.
I have already made the mod on the Grigri (a small hole on the top for keeping upwards), I have a chest harness to attach it for the right position, so in principle everything is set.
The thing which is puzzling me a bit is the way to attach the G to my (sit) harness. If I attach it to the belay loop with a pear locking biner, it is in the right position, no torque. But when I did a test fall at home I have noticed that after the grigri engaged, it nearly knock out of my teeth, because it got quite "high" and also put a lot of stress on the top small loop that connects it to the chest harness to keep it upright. I'm not sure I can explain it 100% as english is not my mother language. 

Now if I connect the biner directly through the leg/belt loop, it keeps the grigri lower, but it will be 90 degrees turned, so it will be parallel with my body. And I'm worry about the torque in an event of a fall.

Anyone experienced such phenomena? Any help?

(maybe I have to keep my harness a bit tighter and to keep it more low, but I dont think it is a solution)

Tomorrow morning I'm off to a local crag to try this all "live". I'm not worried the grigri not catching because it will (or my backup know at least). But I'm worried about it impaling my head from under :-)

Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: hoipolloi on March 21, 2009, 06:35:32 pm
Don't worry about it Paul, if it knocks out your teeth, you can get a platinum grill. Way cooler than normal teeth.


(http://media.urbandictionary.com/image/large/grill-42999.jpg)

maybe one more like this would suit you better

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_sA-aSHtJTLY/R5_6rcaoxCI/AAAAAAAAAII/slEb0qYU1TU/s400/grill.jpg)
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: Rags on March 21, 2009, 09:39:17 pm
Jeffo,
as you can see this question has as many answers as questions. Probably the reason it needs a sticky (munge?), so it doesn't need to get asked. Bottom line, it is a personal preference. Many use the Gri, and some have had  it fail to grab, your choice.
I prefer the solo-aid because it integrates with my chest harness ans avoids the problem your asking about. Gri ain't gonna do that unless you mod it. (I have the beta on gri mods, but if you should do it, do it at your own risk).

The fact that the gri can flop around induces a level of unpredictability to every fall. My Gri got chewed in the attach hole just TRing with it because the biner rotated. Whatever, your choice make damn sure to backup.

Soloaid also allows connection to the harness with cord or tape, which I also prefer.

I have heard some bad mouth the SA because they were to stoopid to learn how to feed rope. practice whatever you do. Lastly, there is the issue of rope running wild once there is some rope weight on the Gri. You may get a whole bunch of slack you really don't want. SA won't do that but it still makes sense to rebelay a few time per pitch. I guess you didn't ask for all that.

Good luck
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: Paulhauser on March 21, 2009, 11:42:35 pm
Rags, please not that the OP and much of this thread is more than 2 years old. I just resurrected it instead of creating a new one as I have a question related to this.

Hoi, thanks for the info, I might as well need them later today .-)
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: Rags on March 22, 2009, 12:21:46 am
DUH, now don't I feel stoopid. Well, at least I won't have to say that again in the future....

I usually look at the dates. I'm such a noob sometimes.
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: Paulhauser on March 22, 2009, 08:48:02 am
I did a aid route solo in a local crag today, using a modified Grigri. My worries (that I posted a few posts above) were justified, the grigri flopped around a lot even though it is modified and connected to the chest harness. I was worried that it will cross load the biner, and whether it will be in a right position to catch if I fall.

So grigiri soloist out there what am I doing wrong? Is it the usual clusterf..k or there are ways to improve this?
I bought the grigri to have less hassle with backup knots and clove hitches, but so far I'm not convinced? If one keeps worrying about your equipment on the third sketchy hook move in a row like I did today, it will push up the fear factor quite a bit.
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: Rags on March 22, 2009, 12:22:23 pm
Quote
I was worried that it will cross load the biner, and whether it will be in a right position to catch if I fall.

This is what happened to mine to damage the side plate hole. I bought a DMM belay master -  http://bit.ly/YBtIo

I didn't like the idea of running the crab through all the loops, nor the idea of it attached to my  belay loop.

The pic shows it pretty much the way I tried it, tape and all. Besides the slop you get, having a device that integrates with my chest harness at full-strength

is a more comforting. I don't want to be left fallling/hangin upside down with a full aid rack on. A hundred bad scenarios.

So one question. "even though it is modified and connected to the chest harness.",  How did you mod the gri to connect? Similar to this?

(http://www.bigwalls.com/forum2/gallery/memberfiles/drill.jpg)
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: Paulhauser on March 22, 2009, 01:23:23 pm
This is how I have done the mod:

(http://kepfeltoltes.hu/090322/grigri_www.kepfeltoltes.hu_.jpg)

And this is how today's setup was.

The locking biner on the right goes to the belay loop, the non locking biner on the left clips to the chest harness. (It is a Yates double gear sling, I clip this biner directly to the cross strap on the chest, not into the ring on it)

(http://kepfeltoltes.hu/090322/grigri_full_www.kepfeltoltes.hu_.jpg)

I will make a couple of adjustments based on today's experience:

- get the cordlette loop on the grigri much sorter
- and tie it directly into the chest harness, without the non-locking biner
- I will get a bely master for the pear biner, to keep it more in its place
- and will try to use one of these small rubber bands on the grigri and the pear biner to keep the thing on its place:

(http://en.petzl.com/images/Produits/Produit_Image_345.jpg)
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: johnmac on March 22, 2009, 03:19:53 pm
Ditch the pear shape biner and replace with either a steel biner or a Maillon Rapide D.

If you are going to use a gigri you might as well make it as safe as possible. There is one case of a Brit using a DMM Belay Master biner falling on Eagles Way and the biner breaking...
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: offset on March 23, 2009, 09:54:33 am
took my first lead solo fall the other day.  about a 20footer when it was all said and done.  i was using a steel locking biner w/ a non-modded grigri.  the fall deployed a screemer till it extended and equalized with another piece.

system worked.  probably would have still worked if using any of the above mentioned theories... but ... either way.  was happy it worked

just a data point.
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: Paulhauser on March 23, 2009, 12:48:26 pm
Ditch the pear shape biner and replace with either a steel biner or a Maillon Rapide D.

If you are going to use a gigri you might as well make it as safe as possible. There is one case of a Brit using a DMM Belay Master biner falling on Eagles Way and the biner breaking...

Hope he survived (backup knot?)

Yes, I will buy a Maillon for sure.
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: johnmac on March 23, 2009, 02:31:20 pm
Yes, he was tied to the end of the rope...
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: Mr. on March 23, 2009, 06:34:12 pm


There is one case of a Brit using a DMM Belay Master biner falling on Eagles Way and the biner breaking...
Yes, he was tied to the end of the rope...

hopefully he fell up higher where it gets steep!

(hoi: hilarious! did you notice they guy in your top photo is crying? .... about the sad state of his facial hair, obviously. he tries soo hard...)

Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: Rags on March 24, 2009, 12:07:25 am
PH, I'm not saying it will happen, just an FYI.

You drilled that little hole pretty damn close to the one rivet that provides the majority of structural integrity for the Gri.

If the Gri ever gets seriously stressed (like in a fall), it is possible that that little hole has compromised the structure enough to facilitate cracking right thru that area.

I'm basing this on my training and experience as an aircraft mechanic that has seen more than my share of stress cracks.

Drilling the hole in a bit farther away, as in the pic I posted, goes along way to avoiding the problem.

Too late, I know. Just keep an eye on it.
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: Paulhauser on March 24, 2009, 12:06:36 pm
I drilled by the pic in Ogden's book. Maybe a bit too close, but too late, as you said. I will not use this grigri for anything else than soloing, that was decided before I modded it. Anyway, thanks for the heads up.
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: mungeclimber on March 24, 2009, 05:21:53 pm
PH, I'm not saying it will happen, just an FYI.

You drilled that little hole pretty damn close to the one rivet that provides the majority of structural integrity for the Gri.

If the Gri ever gets seriously stressed (like in a fall), it is possible that that little hole has compromised the structure enough to facilitate cracking right thru that area.

I'm basing this on my training and experience as an aircraft mechanic that has seen more than my share of stress cracks.

Drilling the hole in a bit farther away, as in the pic I posted, goes along way to avoiding the problem.

Too late, I know. Just keep an eye on it.

Rags, when in the heck did you ever have time to be an air craft mechanic?  How is the big doc coming along, btw?
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: Rags on March 24, 2009, 08:45:40 pm
Quote
Rags, when in the heck did you ever have time to be an air craft mechanic?  How is the big doc coming along, btw?

That was a past life. 10 years. Before the big fall. The paper is in progress, and getting ready to submit the bastard to the IRB (internal review boards of ethics).
That's to make sure I'm not causing anyone any undue harm by asking them to play with my laptop.

Guess we'll have to do some climibing. then you'll get to hear all the stories. Like the time I almost blew uip a mooney.

Back to soloing... its safer.
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: hoipolloi on April 14, 2009, 02:45:57 pm
Ok, so here is what I did.  What do you all think?  Am I going to die (obviously I may, but really, what do you think)?

EDIT:  I also figured out it hangs a little bit higher if I put the mallion that holds it to my chest straight onto the sling crossing my chest, not to the chest ring on the yates.  *shrug*  I haven't used the grigri set up like this before, normally I Have just let it hang floppy at the waist, but this seems like it will improve flow and help speed things up a little.  We'll see...

EDIT: Is that mallion I have the same type one would recommend using connected to the opposite end?  Better go to home depot and look at some mallions.  That shortens the system perfectly to all hang snug as a bug, thus flow much better.

EDIT:  I can't make my photobucket photos work, Don't know whats up, tried everything.  Go to the links to see them...

http://s104.photobucket.com/albums/m192/dwallfrey/grigri/?action=view&current=P1010237.jpg

http://s104.photobucket.com/albums/m192/dwallfrey/grigri/?action=view&current=P1010241.jpg

http://s104.photobucket.com/albums/m192/dwallfrey/grigri/?action=view&current=P1010242.jpg

http://s104.photobucket.com/albums/m192/dwallfrey/grigri/?action=view&current=P1010244.jpg

http://s104.photobucket.com/albums/m192/dwallfrey/grigri/?action=view&current=P1010243.jpg

http://s104.photobucket.com/albums/m192/dwallfrey/grigri/?action=view&current=P1010247.jpg


cheers.
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: johnmac on April 14, 2009, 03:17:22 pm
The mallion goes on the other end of the grigri, so it replaces your biner. I have a petzl mallion that was designed for Caving. Not sure whether it is any stronger than the hardware shop type but the finish is very nice and shiny....

Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: hoipolloi on April 14, 2009, 03:33:50 pm
just got a second mallion, going to use one on either end.  This one is Stainless Steel 5/16 thick with a 2000lbs working load. Seems strong enough.
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: Rags on April 14, 2009, 11:06:07 pm
1. Am I going to die?

Yes, you're gonna die.

2. "Better go to home depot and look at some mallions."

You can't get Mallions at Home Depot (well maybe). Real Mallions are French. what you usually get in hardware stores are cheap Chinese imitations, they are simply screw links. Not necessarily an issue here, but it seems everyone calls them Mallions when they may not be. This can become an important distinction if you use one in a critical location. Besides that little cord is gonna break long before the link, get 3/16th instead of the 1/4'er.
Real Mallion Rapides- http://www.peguet.fr/fr/peguet-produits.html

3. ..the same type one would recommend using connected to the opposite end? 

I wouldn't. Use the steel locker.

4. Some folk cut the handle off so it doesn't get caught up with the rope in a fall. IMHO the handle should at the least be taped down.

5. Now throw the whole rig out and get a solo-aid. I will never be a fan of using the gri for this application. Ever ask why mods are necessary to make this work?

I know, "What's with he negative vibes?"


One more item - I just cut that ring off my Yates rack for the very same reason. I prefer to clip to the strap and the ring gets in the way. If I need the ring I'll use a small link.
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: Paulhauser on April 15, 2009, 02:00:39 pm
I'm using the same system, but even if I clip the top biner directly to the Yates' strap, sans ring, the grigri is still flipping around, making crossloading the low biner possible. So now I put the cord on the top of the grigri directly to the cross strap of the Yates chest harness. It takes more time to remove, but for me it is ok.
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: iceman777 on April 17, 2009, 10:18:07 am
I don't want to piss on anyones cheerio's but I have to agree w/Rags on the solo aid , I have used the gri gri both w/ the mod and w/o mod It works
but just has never instilled that much confidence in me to push myself very hard while using it ...

Ive tried them all in search of the holy grail of solo devices and I always keep comming back to the solo aid ( were talking aid only here)

I used the silent partner and while I took the time to really dial this device in and get the systems down it's just way too heavy and way too much cluster
on my harness for me.....

.02

cheers
ice
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: Mike. on April 17, 2009, 10:57:29 am
My Cheerios taste fine...

Not too many have embraced the SA, but those who have seem to like it a lot. There is misinformation about it in various places on the 'net--all from one person (eh, dood, wassup). Mine has stopped too many falls and faithfully belayed me well on too many pitches (200?) to dislike. I do solo with a regular Gri when shortfixing, but it's SA all the way on true solos with predominantly aid climbing.

To each his own. Some still use a clove hitch.
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: kristoffer on April 17, 2009, 06:27:13 pm
There is more than one way to skin a cat!
I am no authority on this soloing gig but I have tried a few ways of doing it, some down right sketchy, some bombproof but with a lot of effort required?
With out any hesitation an unmodified gri-gri would be my first choice?
When I say unmodified I am not including installing a small keeper cord through the non load bearing plastic portion of the gri-gri. I don?t think I really dig hacking off the handle or drilling a hole to accommodate a chest harness.

This isn?t really the conventional way of rigging a gri-gri but however it is a well thought out system.
To attach the grigri to my harness I cut an 18? peace of 10.5mm lead line (I used 18 inches because it was the perfect length to match my torso) fed it through my leg loops, belay loop and swami (I fed it thought all possible load bearing points on my harness to incorporate as many back ups as possible) and joined both ends of the line with a double fisherman?s knot.
So now I pretty much have a 6 inch long super burly belay loop made of dynamic rope added to my harness, I take this ?belay loop? and feed a bight of it through the steel ring on my chest harness and I clip into that bight with a burly steel locker and attach my grigri to that.

Pretty much what you accomplish by doing all that bull shit is a connection point that centers your weight and keeps you from flipping upside down during a fall, eliminates unwanted torque between the steel locker and grigri and it also minimizes the cluster factor by moving the grigri up and away from all that other junk going on down in the crotch that might jam the cam, ie fifi hook and daisy chains.

I also really like the gri-gri for soloing because you are always ready to perform a pendulum with out any adjustments to your current system.

Oh not to mention you can also re-jug to your high point after a fall using the grigri and one ascender. The advantage of this being, when you rip another peace of gear wile jugging back up to your high point you won?t fall onto the sharp teeth of an ascender risking the big chop, rather you will experience the soft catch of your gri-gri.

There is no reason not to be confident in pushing your limits wile soling on a gri-gri.. I have taken a lot of big and hard falls onto mine, Mike can attest for that. And its BOMB proof.. 
Dan Osmen was hucking onto a gri-gri and that?s not what failed on him.

Cheers
Zephyr
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: Mike. on April 17, 2009, 09:36:57 pm
Thanks for the input, Kris! I always appreciate your analysis, thoughtfulness, and never resting until the perfect system is devised! (You may never rest again...)

Penjis, yes, they require extra work with the SA. I whip out my Gri when I have to penji, which is less than super convenient.

I don't think any rig is gonna keep us from flipping inverted in a fall, but definitely a higher attachment point would right you upon stoppage.

I dig the fall recovery feature of your system.

Nice to have another voice of experience on the boards here, Zeph. I'll ring ya this weekend (Missed your call earlier?)

They say necessity is the mother of invention, but I'm thinking you might be that mutha! OOOOHHH


Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: skully on April 17, 2009, 09:44:50 pm
That's some good stuff, KristOffer......I'm down with your reasoning, too. Done my Gri Both ways, altered & not. Prefer not to chop up perfectly good gear for a maybe kinda desired effect.
Your super loop is better, I think. Handy, too.  Hmmmmmmmmm.
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: Caz on April 18, 2009, 12:15:43 pm
Hey Kris,

You don't have a problem with your grigri being that close to your face and throat? I'm just thinking that if your looking down while you take a fall that thing could blast you in the chops and knock out some of those pearly whites in your grill, or it could even give you a shot to your throat...

Just a though.

By the way, Mike or Kris, You gonna be in the Valley at all in May? I'm thinking of going up around the first week with or without a partner.


Zac
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: kristoffer on April 18, 2009, 01:24:33 pm
Mike, yeah i gave you a jingle a few days ago when i was up in your neck of the woods, i have your cold weather gear (not that your going to need it with the sun shining like this) and i had some prototypes for you to check out.

Skully, I am usually all about choping up gear and making mods but yeah on the other note, i im right there with ya! i think the gri-gri is pretty well buffed out and not in need of major mods.

Zac, whats up bro? no, i wont be around that valley at all this year, other things going on. you should take advantage of no partner and go solo something....
but anyways you bring up a valid flaw in my system. to counter that i adjusted my chest harness straps to make it ride as low as posible... that pretty much puts the steel ring slightly below my solar plex. i also made sure that when i made my "super loop" i made it short enought to avoid my face once the grigir has been atatched...
i have also noticed that when you fall with a massive rack you tend to artch your back during the plung and that keeps your face clear.

its a toss up guys... bust some teeth out, or flip up side down and smack your cranium agaisnt a ledge.
better just to tred lightly my friends.

Zephyr
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: Mike. on April 18, 2009, 05:27:35 pm
Hey wassup, Zac. No wall action for me for a bit, prolly looking at summer by then and heading for elevation. Do us proud, man.
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: skully on April 18, 2009, 09:13:53 pm
I used the super loop on my Gri, and I think that's the way.
Very handy. I appreciate the tip.
Treading lightly over here, Boss!
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: hoipolloi on April 19, 2009, 09:09:59 am
Kris, lets get a photo of your rig if you got one around!  It sounds interesting


So I decided to trust it and go for it.  Not that I ignored anyone here, but I also didn't get to read the full discussion, as I set out wednesday night!  Hah!

Used the gri gri Thursday and Friday to solo the Prow.  It worked great, caught a fall for me even.  There were a couple of little qwirks I want to work out, specifically keeping it more in place between my harness and my chest rig.  I think Handle cutting could be a good bit of saftey when using it like I was.  Also, I felt like I had to be really aware of how I passed my aiders around, if they went over the top of the rig or underneath the rig.  When they passed over the top it made me a little uneasy that it would hold the handle down if I plunged, BUT this was an unnecessary worry I realized.  Reason being, if I had an aider over the top and took a fall to the last piece, and was still daisied to it, it would more than likely be a dasiy fall and the grigri would never catch.  If that piece (that had the aider running over the top of the grigri) blew, it wouldnt matter where it was running, because it would be flying through the air along side me, and the grigri would catch me as expected!.

Ill write a little TR of my adventure, I have a few photos, it was my first grade V solo, but in general I was too busy climbing/hauling the second day to take as many as I was hoping!
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: skully on April 19, 2009, 09:34:31 am
Cool......Lookin' forward to the TR.
Woot!
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: kristoffer on April 20, 2009, 05:33:42 pm
hoipolloi, nice! props for your first grade V solo... good stuff!

Yeah I can hook you guys up with some images showing my solo rig in the next few days? been kinda busy.


".....Also, I felt like I had to be really aware of how I passed my aiders around, if they went over the top of the rig or underneath the rig......."

So true bro.. I always use a red daisy to represent my right hand side and I just make sure I don?t ever cross it over or let it get messy.. This tinny bit of extra time it takes to keep your daisys in order will more than pay off in the long run. You know, when it gets all tangled up your loose much neededreach and yes, you also run the risk of it jamming your solo belay device.
I think keeping things organized is one of the most important parts of climbing walls, it seems stuff always ends up in the worst possible places.. Murphy?s law right?


We could start an entire new post on great ways of keeping your rack  and systems organized and cluster free.. Efficiency starts there.
Like for instance I started putting all of my beaks and peckers in independent chalk bags according to there size and modifications? so now instead of having like 40 or those suckers catching on everything I have 3 or 4 sleek bags on my rack.. its great.
Buy some of those killer looking new Tomahawk beaks and give the bag a try!

Zephyr

Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: passthepitonspete on April 21, 2009, 05:45:24 pm
OK, OK - I admit it!  I'm a spaz.  But I couldn't figure out how to operate the Solo Aid with just one hand!

The unmodified Grigri is great for insta-penjis, rapping the haul line, and also for the Body Hoist when you are jugging back up after you take a lead fall. 

I think it would be silly to saw the handle off a Grigri for any reason whatsoever - how could you then use it for penjis?  If you are concerned about catching the handle during a fall, just duct tape it down while you're leading. 
Title: Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
Post by: KevinW on April 29, 2009, 01:27:29 pm
I apologize for resurrecting this thread again, but the keeper cord thang got me thinking. Feel free to correct me if you think I'm wrong, but the whole idea of the Gri Gri solo mod is to create a way to clip it in so that the rope will feed (somewhat) hands free, yet still provide a soft'ish catch when/if needed. I have couple of Gri Gri's that I have messed with over the years trying to perfect a method that would provide both a smooth feed and still autolock reliably.  Here's a few things I've figured out/noticed/wondered.. and some ideas that may or may not work for you, mostly minor changes, but ones that made a big difference for me.
(..and probably more then anyone wanted to read about Gri Gri Mods)

The position of the Gri Gri
on the chest harness is essential to both feed and autolocking, the tie-in point on most chest harnesses seems to be a little low to dial this right in.
I have no *actual* photos, so hopefully this will makes sense.
For my elongated body-type, I take a long sewn sling and do the old figure-8 type chest harness with it, sliding my arms through the loops with the "X" part of the 8 in the middle of my back.
I put this over my Yates double gear sling, bringing the sides of the sling forward to the chest ring. A few quasi-prussik wraps around the chest ring, then clip the ends into a small mallion which is in turn attached via a small dogbone to my Bigwall harness.
This keeps the figure-8 chest sling from sliding and rotating over my shoulders.
Above the chest ring, I lash the 2 sides together with a klemheist knot using a loop of small cord. This becomes that attachment point for the mod-end of the Gri Gri and allows you to slide it up or down, fine tuning it's location until it feeds the best for *you*.

The next thing I quickly discovered was that, if the Gri Gri wasn't facing the right way, how well it fed could become a pain, it's ability to rotate and lock could be impaired- allowing for some sphincter puckering super-soft catches, and the possibility of the handle being inadvertently forced opened was also increased. It became apparent that where and how you drilled was crucial.

It wasn't that I was worried about affecting the structural integrity as I was about maintaining proper alignment as much as possible, that I chose to drill through the plastic only, rather then metal and plastic as you see in most mod photos. Directly above the top pin that the side swivels open on, parallel to and centered between the metal side plates, I drilled a small hole right through the plastic.

  here's a photo-botched image of what I mean
(http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll158/verticalventures/Kevin/Other/Gear/grigri-mod-001.png)

Instead of using cord, I fashioned a metal (sort of "C" shaped) clip that snaps into either side of the drilled hole.
The reasoning behind using metal is to provide some rigidity to keep the unit facing forward. (lever out)
The reason for having a clip that only the ends snap in place, rather then a continuous loop of cord or metal ring is, if enough force is applied to this clip it will release before impairing in anyway the units ability to rotate and autolock.
(there was a lot of trial & error involved in getting the size, shape, and material used before getting this clip right)
Being a typical climber/gear freak, no matter where you are or what you're doing, you're always looking at everything as possible gear. I wound up with a pack of crochet needles which could be modified into the perfect clip. The right diameter, strength, and a bonus flat spot in the middle that helps keep it attached where and how I want it to sit.


nuther photo-botched representation
(http://i287.photobucket.com/albums/ll158/verticalventures/Kevin/Other/Gear/grigri-mod-002.png)
*sort of* what the clip looks like and how is sits


Taking the small klemheist loop on my chest sling, I attach the clip with a clove hitch, (so it doesn't fly into space if released - I do carry spares though) then snap it into the Gri Gri
I just use a locking oval on the bottom of the Gri Gri to attach it to my harness, adjust the klemheist height (which aids in keeping the biner aligned), and climb away!