Craig DeMartino has been a climber for the past 24 years. He climbs around the US and the world chasing routes of all types… In 2002 he was accidentally dropped 100 feet onto the talus of Rocky Mountain National Park which resulted in the loss of his leg, a fused back and neck, and a lifetime of chronic injuries. It is also what led him to Paradox Sports. He leads clinics for Paradox teaching other disabled climbers how to get back to climbing, and life, with humor, psych, and a love for their new “normal”. Craig was the first amputee to climb El Capitan in Yosemite in under a day, part of the team on the First All Disabled Ascent of El Cap, and a Bronze Medal winner in the Paraclimbing World Championships in France. He is a dad and husband and loves to spread his love of climbing to the world through our programs at Paradox. – Paradox Sports
I’ve used a GRIGRI before, in fact I had the very first GRIGRI and really enjoyed how it worked. But the GRIGRI 2, while not exactly new on the market, really is a huge step up in the belay device world.
For starters it’s much smaller and able to handle skinny ropes. I mostly climb with a 9.2 BlueWater rope and the device never failed to clamp down on this skinny cord. It’s also lighter and now comes in cool colors that can match your clothes so you are the hippest cat at the crag.
I took the GRIGRI 2 on two different sport climbing trips, one to Lander and one to Shelf Road. On both trips it logged many vertical feet and lowers, as well as a few whippers by my friends. The device is easy to load and feed rope and when the climber does fall or weight the rope, the cam clamps down and arrests the fall. Unlike other devices, its easy to understand how it works, and that makes it easier to use correctly. As with all these devices, the brake hand still has to always control the rope strand, but it will stop the falls quickly and efficiently for you. Using it while a friend is hang-dogging a route is really where the device shines. You don’t have to keep your hand cranked over, the GRIGRI 2 does the work for you by holding the weight in the cam.
On one of the days, I decided to climb 50 routes in a day, most with my son and he used and loved the device as well. When you are logging long days with lots of climbing, the device is nice for knowing you won’t get dropped.
I know also from experience that aid climbing with a GRIGRI 2 is really deluxe. The belayer can relax as the leader sorts out all the puzzle pieces of aid climbing, and as long as the hand stays on the break, even root around in the haul bag for some food knowing a fall will be stopped if it happens suddenly.
The only downside is if you use very thick ropes: it’s a bit harder to feed rope out, but that being said I could feed the rope fine even at 9.8 in size. You just have to anticipate more what you leader is doing, and I think every leader out there will appreciate that!
I love the simple, compact design and the color choices make the GRIGRI 2 my go to belay device for long days and hangdog afternoons.