Belaying with the GRIGRI
The GRIGRI is a belay device with assisted braking. The belay technique to be used is very similar to the generic belay technique, but has a few specifics. So it requires a little time to adapt to. The technique described here is the only one that Petzl recommends.
- Read the technical notice before viewing the following techniques.
- It is important to fully understand the information provided in the technical notice before using this complementary information
- Mastering these techniques requires training.
- Consult a professional before attempting to perform these techniques on your own.
The following video illustrates:
- basic technique and giving slack
- the technique for quickly giving slack.
We place great emphasis on the need to hold the brake side of the rope.
The term "belay device with assisted braking," which describes the GRIGRI, indicates that it is not an autolocking device. In fact, you may notice that if you slide your rope slowly through the device (especially for small diameter rope), it does not necessarily lock, and the rope slides freely through the device. By holding the brake side of the rope, you initiate the rotation of the cam, thus braking the rope.
It is also important to stress the fact that any blocking of the device or the cam will negate the braking action on the rope. This is why it is essential to avoid holding the device with your whole hand, to avoid keeping your thumb constantly on the cam, to avoid blocking the cam...
It is difficult to make an exhaustive list of all incorrect techniques. Here are some illustrations:
Holding the GRIGRI with the entire hand.
Giving slack without holding the brake side of the rope.
Incorrect placement of the index finger.
Holding the climber side of the rope.
Note that the use of incorrect belay technique is the primary risk factor in an accident, especially when the belayer is surprised by a fall. If you recognize yourself in any of these illustrations of incorrect technique, adopt the technique presented at the beginning of this paragraph.