When new gear arrives on the market, some of us get excited, some of us are cautious, and some of us our downright skeptical. If you fall into one of these categories, we did the review work for you and asked Matt Shove, an AMGA Rock Instructor, Asst. Alpine Guide, and SPI Provider to review the new GriGri +. in 90 days, he put almost 70,000ft (that 's 21,000m') of varying diameter rope through the new device. Here is his take on climbing's newest Gri-Grinnoavtion. -BC
I’ve been using an original GriGri since about 1995. I used the 'old iron-sides' for a long time, then in 2010 I got a GriGri 2 (Retail $99.95 USD). The GriGri 2 worked wonders, was rated for skinny ropes, and still performs admirably. I use my GriGri 2 about 250 days a year. It’s a staple on my gear sling. Frankly, I’m not sure what I’d do without it.
I came into a GriGri + (Retail $149.95 USD) in late winter 2016-17 and I’ve used it almost daily since. I’ve lugged it up an ice climb in NH, belayed in the gym with it, belayed outside on the crags at work. I’ve even lugged it up Black Orpheus (IV 5.10) in Red Rocks in April.
Here’s what I think:
• The lead belay mode works great. I am impressed that it works so well. I’ve used the GriGri + on ropes ranging from 9.2 - 10.2mm and I have rarely had to override the lead belay function.
• The Anti-Panic release lever works great. Pull the lever too hard? It locks. Simply reset and continue lowering.
• The top rope function is just like a Gri Gri 2. Simple, effective, and reliable.
• Works just like the Gri Gri and Gri Gri 2 when belaying directly off of the anchor.
• Add the Petzl Frieno carabiner (Retail $49.95 USD) for the win.
• Added durability. The GriGri + has a steel plate on the swing plate to add durability.
• The GriGri + release lever requires a couple of extra inches of clearance when belaying directly off of the anchor due to the anti-panic lever.
Do you need a GriGri + if you already have a GriGri 2?
No. The GriGri 2 works great and is lighter and $50 cheaper. Most owners are effective at operating the GriGri 2, and there is no need to switch. Of course, if you want one, you can't go wrong with this added tool in you kit.
If you are a climbing instructor working in a professional capacity, this could be a good tool to add to you quiver. I plan to have my guests belay me with the GriGri + for additional security while I climb and while they lower me. It provides me an added edge and I think this could add value with limited disadvantage.
Duration of use: 90 days
Pitches Belayed approx. 500
Gym Pitches: 200
Matt Shove, AMGA Rock Instructor, Asst. Alpine Guide, SPI Provider