Gear Review: Belay Device
Product: GriGri 2
If you’re a rope climber, you probably spend just as much time climbing as you spend belaying. Sometimes, your climber just takes forever to finish the route. Sometimes, your climber (especially if he/she high-clips) takes out a TON of slack in an instant. Fret not! The Petzl GriGri 2 belay device has your back… or your belay, if you will.
For starters, the GriGri 2 is a belay device with assisted braking. This means that when you brake after your climber fervidly yells, “TAKE TAKE TAKE!!!!” or falls, the GriGri 2 locks the rope so you don’t have to apply the brake as hard as you would if you were belaying with a tube-style belay device. To be clear, you do brake while belaying with a GriGri 2 for safety, but the downward pulling of the rope is minimal. This feature is especially helpful when your climbers are on their projects (those projects perhaps being a bit above their ranges…but hey, they’re trying them, right?). The assisted braking lets you hang out on the ground without having to worry that your hand will go numb from being on take for so long. It’s also great when your climbers fall in a roof; if they try to boink up, you can quickly take a bunch of slack without any of the rope slipping. Finally, those of you who tend to belay climbers significantly heavier than you know the struggle of braking extraordinarily hard. The GriGri 2 totally fixes this problem. You won’t even notice a weight difference while belaying.
The next best thing about the GriGri 2 is its feeding and lowering capabilities. When you feed slack with the GriGri 2, you simply pull the rope out; there’s no hassle of sliding your hands at light speed in an attempt to get out 3 armfuls of slack when your climbers are clipping draws while they’re pumped and locking off on a tiny crimp (despite there being a jug after the next move). With the GriGri 2, the rope just glides out, stress-free. When it’s time to lower your climber, you don’t have to worry about rope burn! The lever controls how fast your climber gets lowered; even if your climber is significantly heavier than you, all you have to do is keep a hand on the brake and pull the lever.
The GriGri 2 makes belaying stress and hassle-free. After paying your dues with a tube-style belay device, it’s time to make the upgrade to a GriGri 2.
Recommendation: Experienced lead belayer
Specs: 185 g, compatible with 8.9 mm to 11 mm dynamic ropes