The new Gri Gri+ review for both Lead Climbing and Outdoor Centre use

3 Generations of Gri Gri

The Gri Gri+ has just been released and was delivered in time for the CWA training course that I was delivering this weekend. With a great opportunity to get geeky with other climbing nerds and instructors we put it to the test and found the following:

The new lead and top rope button is easy to adjust once you work out how to release the white pin by using a key or similar object. This seemed a little odd at first but on reflection you don’t want an instructed group to accidently change the mode from top rope to lead. You can easily switch between the two settings, but once the pin is pushed back in you will need a key to release the pin again. This has been well thought out for group use.


Lead Mode:

Setting the pin

·         In lead mode the Gri Gri+ works just like the previous two by paying out smoothly when done correctly.
·         It does have an additional channel to prevent the rope popping out sideways from the camming action when using thin ropes, which could happen on the Gri Gri 2.
·         The lower off worked well and the anti-panic handle only engaged if you started lowering too fast. Interestingly though, if you require extra friction during the lower by using the Petzl Freino karabiner the anti-panic handle was frustrating and kept locking. However, we only tried this with lighter climbers and it may work better with heavier climbers and be less frustrating!

Top Rope Mode:

·         The rope will not pay out unless you place your thumb over the camming action and is sensitive to locking.

Additional Channel

·         When lowering in bell ringing mode we could not get the Gri Gri+ to fail or allow rope to slide through the device if the belayer held on to the live rope i.e. holding two hands on the rope above the device and preventing the Gri Gri+ to shock load and lock. This prevents the likelihood of accidents happening where a light climbers doesn’t shock load the device.
·         We used the device with a group of young children who triggered the anti-panic handle when trying to lower. This was reassuring if novices grab the handle too tight, it will lock. On the other hand though it requires the instructor to control the lever in every lower, which can sometime be tricky when trying to get your hand on the lever without brushing the belayers chest!
·         Again the additional channel in the camming action prevents the rope popping out sideways when the Gri Gri+ is orientated sideways and to the left, which can happen when using centre harnesses with horizontal belay loops.

The rope popping out sideways on the Gri Gri2

On the whole I was really impressed with the device and think Petzl have clearly thought about the new design which accommodates for both normal lead climbing and use in outdoor centres and climbing walls.

Caveat: the work above uses the wording ‘Lock’ to prevent repeating the correct and wordy term of ‘Break Assisting’ the Gri Gri+ is not an auto locking device.

The Adventure Brand provides a variety of climbing opportunities and courses, whether you’re seeking personal guiding or coaching; learning the technical and safety skills of lead climbing; advanced sea cliff problem solving and rescues or wanting to become an instructor. We work in a variety of indoor walls and enjoy teaching in the coastal spots of both Swanage and Portland climbing areas which provides excellent teaching and learning opportunities for climbers of all abilities. For more information contact click here or Ellis Bird at and get psyched for Dorset climbing.