First off, a big thanks to Petzl for hooking it up with the Gri Gri and Reverso’s to send out. Without their support, I would have had to buy them myself and if I did that, I would just keep them because I need both a new Gri Gri and a new Reverso. Now where was I… Oh yes, the winners of the contest. We had two fantastically bad Gri Gri submissions, and then one humorous entry that we thought was too good to pass up. Here they are below, with commentary from Rick Vance, Petzl’s technical manager, on why they are in bad shape.
Thanks to everyone who participated, and keep an eye out in the spring for another chance to win some great gear from Petzl!
From the submitter: Seriously, my Gri Gri IS NOT SAFE. No one want’s me belaying them with this. And just look at the wicked callus, I’ve obviously put this device to the test.
Here’s why I should win.
1 – I was not irresponsible by letting my gear go beyond the point of safe use.
2 – It’s clear I can’t afford proper equipment.
3 – Calluses negatively affect my Hand Modeling career.
4 – If I don’t win this contest, I’m entering your “How Bad are Your Nuts” contest…did you just picture it?
Rick’s Take: This Grigri isn’t just worn out, it’s broken and needs to be retired.
It’s impossible to tell from the picture what exactly is wrong with the handle. Is it completely free spinning, or can it still disengage the cam when lowering a climber? There are mainly things that could be wrong, but here are just a couple of reasons why you wouldn’t want to use this Grigri.
The problem with a free spinning handle is that the belayer loses the fine control provided by the handle, and is likely to open the cam suddenly.
If the handle can still disengage the cam, the concern is that this handle can get caught on a loop of rope, your hand, a jacket, etc., and accidently open the cam.
Oh and there’s also a significant amount of wear to the attachment point, fixed side plate, and rope friction plate. FAIL!!!
From the submitter: My poor old reliable belay device “Bessie” is definitely in her final death throes. In fact, I was not suprised to see that she fits practically all of Petzl’s criteria for a FAIL. Most of the sheet metal edges have been sharpened to a “Ginsu-like” keenness. The cam surface has only a few more uses til daylight peeks through from the other side. The scariest thing about my old lovely Gri-gri is that she still works. Just Barely. Every time I belay or am belayed with this device feels like I am playing with house money. Ropes slip steadily through the locked device without a strong lockoff. Only seasoned veterans can negotiate ropes through the maze of her razor surfaces. I wanted to retire her long ago, but my poorness and the theft of her replacement several years ago have kept her on the frontlines. This contest is my last hope. Please help me send my Bessie to greener pastures. Please.
Rick’s Take: The submitter is right on when it comes to Bessie’s condition. When the friction bearing surfaces are worn to this point, it’s time to let the old girl go. I know times like this can be tough, but it’s best to be strong and do the right thing for your climbing partner.
Disclaimer: A complete inspection of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as a belay device cannot be performed without a thorough visual and functional inspection. As such, a thorough inspection cannot be completed based on these images alone. Opinions regarding the condition of this device are based solely on the images provide, and are offered as guidelines only. If there is any doubt about the condition of your device, return it to Petzl for a complete inspection.