Author Topic: Soloing Belay Device Question  (Read 11367 times)

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Offline iceman777

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Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
« Reply #30 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

Offline Mike.

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Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
« Reply #31 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.
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline kristoffer

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Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
« Reply #32 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
"I am plagued by a mindless nonchalance and petrified zen"

Offline Mike.

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Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
« Reply #33 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


Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

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Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
« Reply #34 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.

Offline Caz

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Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
« Reply #35 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
I do this for fun...

Offline kristoffer

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Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
« Reply #36 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
"I am plagued by a mindless nonchalance and petrified zen"

Offline Mike.

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Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
« Reply #37 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.
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

skully

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Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
« Reply #38 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!
« Last Edit: April 18, 2009, 09:23:58 pm by skully »

Offline hoipolloi

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Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
« Reply #39 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!

skully

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Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
« Reply #40 on: April 19, 2009, 09:34:31 am »
Cool......Lookin' forward to the TR.
Woot!

Offline kristoffer

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Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
« Reply #41 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

"I am plagued by a mindless nonchalance and petrified zen"

Offline passthepitonspete

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Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
« Reply #42 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. 
Dr. Piton says, "There is always a Better Way!"

Offline KevinW

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Re: Soloing Belay Device Question
« Reply #43 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

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

*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!