First Published 3/26/2011
I have been long awaiting the arrival of Petzel’s grigri 2 not so much for it performance in rock climbing applications, as I assumed it would perform to the same high standard as its original, but what interested me was whether the new grigri would perform well enough with thinner diameter ropes to start to be used for more canyoneering applications. After 2 days of testing the grigri 2 this is what I have concluded from using it.
Ratings are out of 4 stars
New features: The new grigri is truly about 75% the weight and size of the original. Descending on the new grigri is much smoother than descending on the original one was. This is especially true on free hanging descents. The grigri 2 is marketed to work on ropes from 8.9 mm-11mm in diameter. I tested the grigri 2 on 9.2 and 8mm ropes. Here are my opinions based upon my testing.
Descent device: The new grigri descends smoother than the original device making it much more comfortable for descending. It is still not my first choice for descents but Petzel has improved this feature dramatically. 9.2 mm rope the grigri2 worked extremely well while on descent; upon testing on the 8mm rope the grigri 2 also worked and would catch without any slippage it was not as comfortable for rappelling on 8mm as on the 9.2 mm rope and Petzel does not recommend its use on 8mm ropes, I suspect that over time the grigri 2 would wear a bit like the original and may not work as effectively on the 8mm rope. My recommendation if using an 8mm rope for canyoneering descent use another device as there are many devices that work much more effectively. 2.5 stars
Progress Capture Device (PCD): The grigri 2 works well as a PCD. Its most beneficial feature that other PCD’s do not offer is the ability to quickly transfer from a haul to lower system. Just as in descending it worked great with 9.2 mm ropes and worked on the 8mm rope effectively as well. As a PCD it worked well on 8mm ropes and showed no slippage. I would suggest tying a catastrophe not on the back side of the grigri 2 if using it on a 8mm rope. Also if using as a PCD be sure that the grigri 2’s lever is easily accessible and not rubbing against any rock or other surface which could cause the lever to be pinched open. 3.5 stars
Ascending: This feature worked briliantly with the grigri 2 on both the 9.2 and 8mm ropes, once again caution should be used if using a rope under 8.9 mm as Petzel says this is the smallest diameter in its range. The best feauture of the grigri 2 was its use in the rapid ascending system (RAD SYSTEM). The grigri 2 device allows you to transfer from ascending to rappelling and vice versa faster and more efficiently than any device I have ever used. Once again caution should be used if using it on any rope under 8.9mm in diameter. 4 stars
Contingency Anchor: The grigri2 can easily be rigged as a contingency anchor but there are many options for rigging a contingency anchor. The greatest advantage of using the grigri 2 as a contingency anchor is if you need to transfer to a haul it can be very fast and efficient because your grigri 2 is already in place as a PCD. Only disadvantages I see for using the grigri 2 as a contingency anchor is it needs to be broken down as most contingency anchors due, with the exception of releasable blocks, before the last rappeller descends. Also the lever needs to be free to move and not pinch on an object. 3.5 stars
In review the grigri 2 accomplishes many things which can also be accomplished with other devices. The features of the grigri 2 which were found to work more efffectively than other devices was transferring from ascending to rappelling and vice versa, and transferring from a haul to a lower or lower to a haul while used as a PCD. It worked great on 9.2 mm ropes and also worked on a rope tested down to 8mm. Petzel sets a limitation of 8.9 mm for a grigri 2 so I would not suggest its use if an 8mm rope is the main diameter rope you use in canyoneering.
This review was written simply as an opinion and each canyoneer should test the product in a controlled environment for themselves. The effectiveness of the product may vary based upon user weight, rope type, and various other factors. Pura Vida Adventures does not recommend the use of the grigri 2 for any rope diameter under 8.9mm.
Pura Vida Adventures offers guided canyoneering programs, as well as instructional canyoneering programs to learn more visit http://www.rappellingwaterfalls.com/ or http://www.pvadventures.com/Canyoneering/index.html for more info