/ Climbing kit that’s not worth trying to beat?

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jezb1 - on 10 May 2019

A GriGri. Any other assisted breaking device just isn’t as good.

What else you got? Camalots?

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teh_mark on 10 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

Totems haven't yet stood the test of time, but they are the cam to beat in my humble opinion. Nothing else comes close.

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stevieb - on 10 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

original Boreal Lasers

or is that just nostalgia

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Stuart (aka brt) - on 10 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

> A GriGri. Any other assisted breaking device just isn’t as good.

I'd agree though for me GG2 isn't as good as the original. (Trying to slim it down has made it slightly harder to pilot.) 

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Sir Chasm - on 10 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

Beal ropes, apparently. 

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MischaHY - on 10 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

Petzl Connect Adjust. No other personal anchor comes close. 

For the benefit of the 'but whaddaaaboutt the clove hitch' crowd: it's harder to adjust, isn't independent from the system and thereby is limiting in block leading scenarios or when rescuing. It prevents rapid untying/retying which is occasionally necessary if you didn't clean the turns out of your lead rope before running it through a guide plate (all the turns get pushed down to the end) plus you can use the connect very effectively as an aid device if necessary. 

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Neil Williams - on 10 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

> A GriGri. Any other assisted breaking device just isn’t as good.

I would say Grigri+ specifically.  The counterintuitive release handle "panic issue" was a feature that has got people hurt on a number of occasions and definitely needed improving upon, which with the + they have now done so.

Post edited at 09:42
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MischaHY - on 10 May 2019
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

Try the new one if you get a chance, it's genuinely a huge difference. They've done something to the cam/lever arrangement that makes the lowering process really progressive and controllable even with very skinny ropes (have been using mine with the Edelrid Canary 8.6). 

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Stuart (aka brt) - on 10 May 2019
In reply to MischaHY:

> Try the new one if you get a chance, it's genuinely a huge difference. They've done something to the cam/lever arrangement that makes the lowering process really progressive and controllable even with very skinny ropes (have been using mine with the Edelrid Canary 8.6). 

That's a good point. I have tried one and it is good. Got a GG2 to replace the original but kept using the original. Probably hard wired to its feel hence why the GG2 felt awkward. 

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Tom V - on 10 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

I think the Universal Testing Machine that my son operated until recently had a capacity of 200 tons so as breaking devices go I thought it was fairly impressive.

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galpinos on 10 May 2019
In reply to MischaHY:

Do you use the single or dual? I thought these looked really good but them came over all "British trad Climber" and decided they were extra faff and why would I want something extra when I have the rope to use.

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nniff - on 10 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

Rohan Striders and the Ra knock-offs

These days they'd add a bit to make them into trousers, but way ahead of their time - it took everyone else ages to come up with something vaguely as good

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timparkin - on 10 May 2019
In reply to galpinos:

I have the dual but would like the single for sport routes. It's expensive and there are other options but I really like it

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cb294 - on 10 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

Black Diamond Express/Turbo ice screws (the ones with the flip knob for turning). Possibly to be replaced at some point by aluminium ones with exchangeable tips, but not yet.

Edelrid Ohm, despite the short time on the market. 

Grivel G12s as all round moutaineering crampons.

CB

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MischaHY - on 10 May 2019
In reply to galpinos:

Single. Dual is only really useful if you live somewhere like Verdon and very consistently want to extend a belay device and have a personal anchor but only carry one bit of kit. Personally I just extend with the 60cm sling that I stack my rope in at belays so don't feel it's necessary. Mega bit of kit and would recommend to anyone. 

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nuts and bolts on 10 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

I have high hopes for the Edelrid mega jul which I have on order. Seems to me should beat the Grigri into a cocked hat for simplicity and lightness (however I have rarely used a grigri so cannot comment with conviction).

Agree that totems outperform any other cam I have used - still some reservations regarding bulk and complexity.

WC super light rocks are fast becoming my favourite nuts especially as I am having a war on weight as regards my rack. The more I use them the more versatile they seem to be.

Also petal sitta harness is an awesome bit of kit.

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jezb1 - on 10 May 2019
In reply to nuts and bolts:

> I have high hopes for the Edelrid mega jul which I have on order. Seems to me should beat the Grigri into a cocked hat for...

It won't!

I know people that love them, but not me.

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krikoman - on 10 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

A tube belay device.

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L 88Dan - on 10 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

The original grigri, I have the new 2 and it seems to get lost in your hands. Another vote for the Boreal lasers and the stigmas. Also my BD camlots took a hell of a beating before I gave up trad climbing.

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acrkirby - on 10 May 2019
In reply to cb294:

Full support for G12's they are the most solid all rounder out there.

On the fence for the express screw, for scotland there great but for pure ice the grivel helix is far easier to get into ice

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GrahamD - on 10 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

North Cape windproof smock.  Actually, I tell a lie.  The Needle Sports one was just as good.

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Presley Whippet on 10 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

Guidebooks that fit in your pocket. 

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wilkie14c - on 11 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

Jetboil 

Closest thing to an electric kettle 

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Lurking Dave - on 11 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

Troll Omnis

Paramo Smock

LD

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Big Lee - on 11 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

TC-Pros for crack climbing

IMPs

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gribble - on 11 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

Victory cheese.  There's no other food (I'm not including beer as food in this instance) that says "fantastic day on the rock" quite like cheese.  For me, the ideal victory cheeses will include Brie de Meaux, Starnachas and Montagnolo.  Other cheeses are always welcome.

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Pedro50 on 11 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

The figure of 8. Far better than its 7 predecessors. 

Post edited at 08:14
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baron - on 11 May 2019
In reply to MischaHY:

Instead of the Petzl Connect can’t you just use an off cut of old rope and tie a knot in it and save yourself £30/40?

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TobyA on 11 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

I wrote some blog posts on this years ago, I've climbing hardware I came up with DMM Cobras and BD Hotwires:

http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.com/2009/11/stuff-that-works-1-dmm-cobras.html

http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.com/2010/05/stuff-that-works-black-diamond-hotwires.html

And on almost climbing equipment - Sportiva Nepal Extreme boots and Marmot Basic Work Gloves:

http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.com/2010/03/stuff-that-works-la-sportiva-nepal.html

http://lightfromthenorth.blogspot.com/2012/10/marmot-basic-work-glove-review.html

I'd stick by all of them still. This winter I bought my third pair of Basic Work Gloves and wore them every day for a week at Easter ski touring in arctic Norway. The second pair are still usable but have one small blown seam.

A bunch of my Cobras and Hotwires I've since sold, but have a couple of both still and they work as well as they did when Drum and Bass was the new big thing in the clubs and Britpop was about to explode.

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jezb1 - on 11 May 2019
In reply to TobyA:

I've had a couple of pairs of the work glove. I liked them a lot but they never seemed to last sadly.

For me the Nepals were a no go, didn't really fit and always felt heavy and cumbersome when I tried some on.

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teh_mark on 11 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

On the clothing front, I think the Mountain Equipment Squall might take some beating as the ultimate summer/alpine softshell.

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TobyA on 11 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

> For me the Nepals were a no go, didn't really fit and always felt heavy and cumbersome when I tried some on.

Probably just showing my age. Nepal Extremes felt brilliant compared to the Scarpa Vegas and Grintas I had had previously!

Have you found leather work gloves from a 'work' brand that last better? I have worn out the Marmot ones too, but for 20 euro getting 5+ winters of a lot use (in Finland I used to wear them as my everyday winter gloves as well just for walking to the bus stop for work, as well as skiing, climbing, snowshoeing etc.) I'm happy with the value.

But if anyone says the Dickies ones or similar are worth checking out I'd consider them.

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tmawer - on 11 May 2019
In reply to nuts and bolts:

I liked mine, but having had 2 break with the wire handle coming away from the body, I didn't get a third. Neither lasted 2 years. 

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john arran - on 11 May 2019
In reply to Pedro50:

> The figure of 8. Far better than its 7 predecessors. 

Agreed. The figure of 1 was rubbish 

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MischaHY - on 11 May 2019
In reply to baron:

Assuming this is a serious question - no, it's far more complex than that. The metal rocker is infinitely adjustable so you really quickly and smoothly customise your belay position and then continue to adjust it as necessary without compromising your system. 

It's also got a stitched loop on the climbers side to larksfoot directly into the rope loops which would also be challenging to replicate. 

Check out some videos of it in use. I've used mine fairly extensively now and the convenience and ease of adjustment is unbeatable. 

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Fruitbat on 11 May 2019
In reply to TobyA:

> Have you found leather work gloves from a 'work' brand that last better?If anyone says the Dickies ones or similar are worth checking out I'd consider them.

For the last couple of months I've been using a pair of the Dickies leather work gloves https://www.dickiesworkwear.com/uk/dickies-unlined-leather-work-gloves-gl0300#reviews:reviews-all for stonework, lime pointing etc so they have a hard life and so far are standing up well. The leather, stitching and cut seem to be good so far- I've tried some leather gardening gloves that look similar but the fit was poor, the stitching came apart pretty quickly and the leather seemed to be poor-quality. 

The Dickies should be fine for climbing, ropework etc. Ive only used the unlined version but the lined ones should be just as robust and, obviously, have a bit more insulation. Watch the sizing, I have XL and my hands aren't massive. Also, your hands end up looking as if you smoke 40 Capstan Full Strength a day i.e. the dye comes out of them, this may not be a problem with the lined version.

Post edited at 10:11
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jayjackson - on 11 May 2019
In reply to Neil Williams:

> I would say Grigri+ specifically. 

I’m going to disagree here...

The panic function Petzl have built into the ID (an “industrial gri gri” for want of a better term) is superb, does exactly what you say and prevents panic pulling on the handle resulting in a loss of control, it also limits the speed of descent (although once you get the feel for it you can still go plenty fast enough).

The gri gri + has tried to replicate this, however the way to override the lock off function is to keep pulling more on the handle (so if it is being used by a panicking person all they have to do is keep panicking more!)

Having seen them in action I don’t feel they do what they are meant to do.

The variable friction mode for paying out to a leader/top roping is clever - not required, but clever!

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Cheese Monkey - on 11 May 2019
In reply to nuts and bolts:

Yeh my first one broke. The replacement has done well so far

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gravy - on 11 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

Problem with the original premise is "grigri cannot be beat", I hate the grigri, it isn't ambidextrous, it needs to be overridden to work smoothly, it's fussy about the rope, it's heavy and single purpose and it offers no advantage over simpler, lighter and more versatile devices.

The Petzl connect is not perfect - I had one, it was nicked, the greatest regret about that is the screwgate they got away with.  Lacking in smoothness. In this case I've gone back to a bit of old rope with a couple of knots in - I should try a kong but I can't be arsed.

Ohm - someone knicked my first one and I am replacing it.  Again far from perfect but it fits a niche that I need.

G12 - can't dispute this.

Nice ice screws with handles - all suffer the same flaw, temperamental Scottish winter conditions if that could be addressed then they'd be up for an award.

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Neil Williams - on 11 May 2019
In reply to jayjackson:

> The gri gri + has tried to replicate this, however the way to override the lock off function is to keep pulling more on the handle (so if it is being used by a panicking person all they have to do is keep panicking more!)

Ah.  I thought you had to hold it in the middle position (not having used one) - so I retract my view!

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machine on 11 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

The original Wild Country Elite Syncro harness. Nothing else comes close for Trad and Winter. Wild Country Please bring this harness back out.

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baron - on 11 May 2019
In reply to MischaHY:

I wasn’t doubting the ease of use of the Petzl Connect just the need to spend £30/40 on an extra piece of kit when an old piece of rope and a couple of knots of one’s choice would serve a similar purpose.

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jezb1 - on 11 May 2019
In reply to gravy:

> Problem with the original premise is "grigri cannot be beat", I hate the grigri...... it offers no advantage over simpler, lighter and more versatile devices.

If you’re into sport climbing it does.

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deepsoup - on 11 May 2019
In reply to john arran:

And perhaps more to the point of this thread it's supposedly "new and improved" replacement, the Fig-9, was also dreadful.

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Neil Williams - on 11 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

I, er, didn't, honest, use it to give me a bit of extra grip when belaying with a broken finger.

Otherwise I only bought one as a familiarisation exercise so I'd be ready to use one for instructing if appropriate, but I do note that instructors using them has reduced quite a lot in favour of using other devices.

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MischaHY - on 12 May 2019
In reply to baron:

How would a piece of old rope and some knots offer the same adaptability and function?

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baron - on 12 May 2019
In reply to MischaHY:

> How would a piece of old rope and some knots offer the same adaptability and function?

You fasten the piece of rope to your harness and adjust it with a knot of your choice.

It might take a few seconds longer than adjusting the Petzl but it’s a lot cheaper.

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gravy - on 12 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

I do sport climb and I still find the grigri awful. If I've got to stand around belaying someone working a route I use a smart (lighter, faster, cheaper, ambidextrous but still not perfect). I don't dispute that the grigri is popular but I think this is largely due to being the first practical assisted locking device but it is old technology and I think it has been bettered.

The grigri has problems (hence it is worth trying to beat re: the OP) and, in my opinion has been bettered along a number of directions by newer devices.  I regard it as a retro fashion item currently purchased by new sport climbers who want to project an image of "I'm a serious sport climber" a bit like fixie bikes.

Now I'll retreat under my flame proof hat...

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Neil Williams - on 12 May 2019
In reply to gravy:

> Ohm - someone knicked my first one and I am replacing it.  Again far from perfect but it fits a niche that I need.

The Ohm is a brilliant piece of kit for those of us who are slightly over twice the weight as the people who usually belay us   Far less cack-handed than weight bags.

I do note that Edelrid have themselves slightly improved it by adding a bit of rubber to stop the sling moving around on the krab and falling into a cross-loaded or on-gate position as the device moves up and down on the bolt during repeated falls.  I've added a rubber band to solve the same issue

You could probably sort of achieve the same thing with an Italian hitch on the first draw, but that would introduce one heck of a lot of drag while pulling up slack.

Post edited at 08:18
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cragtyke on 12 May 2019
In reply to baron:

Or use a Kong slyde plate with it, cost about £5, and work in a similar way to the petzl.

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ChrisClark1 - on 12 May 2019
In reply to Pedro50:

You arrogant youth have no idea what you're talking about. When the figure of 8 came out the industry tried to convince the climbing community that it was the de facto standard.

What a load of bollocks.

We've always been using the Figure of 1 (sometimes the figure of 2/3 when teaching novices) and have NEVER had any need for this shiny, new, continental technology. It just seems like manufacturers are dreaming up new ways to profit.

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Stig - on 12 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

My immediate thought before even opening the thread was gri gri.

it baffles and slightly appals me that people seek alternatives.

i honestly think if you can’t use a gri gri you shouldn’t be climbing. 

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gravy - on 12 May 2019
In reply to Stig:

It's not that I can't use a grigri but that I think they are over-rated, under-useful, over-heavy and over-priced.

Since you can get something better, cheaper, lighter and more versatile why does anyone use them? I suspect if I won one in a raffle it would remain at the bottom of my gear drawer gathering chalk next to the size 14 nut I got for Christmas 10 years ago and have never placed.

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jimtitt - on 12 May 2019
In reply to gravy:

> Since you can get something better, cheaper, lighter and more versatile why does anyone use them?

You can't.

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sammyblack - on 12 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

Tricams - mean you can protect flared cracks for 1/10th the price and they weigh less than a second set of cams.

Dmm dragons - work horse cam had mine 4 years and climbed hundreds of dirty routes, slings and operation still good.

Edelrid slings - circular ones for equalising anchors, you can undo the knots easily.

Dmm pivot - tried a load of devices Inc. Mega Jul. This was best for adventure climbing with long abseils.

Alpha trad krabs - easy to use with or without gloves.

Dmm sentinel - if your making more clove hitches than this can deal with you need to relearn anchor building.

The old camp nuts with the horizontal grooves - use whatever nuts you like for your main set but these are great for the placements where nothing else sticks 

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Andy Farnell on 12 May 2019
In reply to jezb1: The Scarpa Stix slipper. Best toe I've ever used in 30+ years climbing.

But as usual Scarpa have discontinued it

😡

Andy F

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keith-ratcliffe on 12 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

Timewarp to the 1970s and these new EBs are a huge step up from Woolworths basketball boots.

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Pefa on 12 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

Carabiners are still the best way to clip on to something using a strong but lightweight alloy rather than other things that are not like that or as good, especially the gorgeous different coloured shiney ones(purple is my fav) Old style grappling hooks cannot be beaten and (controversial here but) Goretex isn't as good as old stiff yellow fisherman's waterproofs for losing a few extra pounds on the hills. 

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Fredt on 13 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

> A GriGri. Any other assisted breaking device just isn’t as good.

Trango Cinch is better.

Other stuff, -original Scarpa Mescalitos

Original Guide Tennies

Rohan Salopettes

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Jon Greengrass on 13 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

The old 5.10 Ascents with the shock absorbing foam wedge  and dotty rubber heel, all the comfort of an approach shoe but with the technical toe box of a rock shoe.

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neilwiltshire on 13 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

DMM Pivot guide plate. No point in using anything else for multi-pitch. It has rendered my old ATC Guide a hand-me-down. Game changer. Gone are the days of setting up 3 or 4 point pulleys with copious crabs and slings to lower climbers!

Also, Arcteryx Harnesses.

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PaulJepson - on 13 May 2019
In reply to MischaHY:

Kong Slyd is a 3rd of the price for the same job. Definitely can beat.

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MischaHY - on 13 May 2019
In reply to PaulJepson:

Have you actually used both of them? Kong Slyde isn't as smooth to operate as the Connect Adjust and also presents more user faff in that you need to choose your own piece of rope (which obviously shouldn't be 'old rope' as mentioned above if you value your life) and the have to tie into it which takes up room on the harness. You then have another knot above the Slyde to make a loop for the carabiner which means more rope aka weight, plus bulk in the master point which quickly gets annoying. 

I'm not denying it as an alternative but we're talking about what can't be beaten, not what's cheapest - and the Connect Adjust is clearly superior. 

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PaulJepson - on 13 May 2019
In reply to MischaHY:

There's no knot to put the carabiner in, it goes directly into the Kong plate. You need to tie a stopper knot in the end of the rope but this is no more bulky than the sewn section of a Connect Adjust. 

I've not used the Connect in the field but use the Slyde regularly and never had any issues. Can't imagine tying in takes up any more space than the bulky larks foot you do with the Petzl (and the figure 8 absorbs more shock). I only use it for sport, where I have a single rope and backup cleaning sling tied to one side and the Kong to the other. Don't like it for trad as too much anchor faff (unless there's strops or bolted belays, I guess).

Buying a length of 9mm rope took all of no minutes at my local climbing shop and cost about £4. The Slyde was about £5 so you're looking at ~£10 for the same thing I can't find for less than 3x that. 

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ATGNI - on 13 May 2019
In reply to jezb1:

IKEA bag. Poundland tarp. 

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galpinos on 13 May 2019
In reply to teh_mark:

I wear mine in all seasons, from summer in Gogarth to winter in Scotland. My most used top.

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galpinos on 13 May 2019
In reply to gravy:

> ........I use a smart (lighter, faster, cheaper, ambidextrous but still not perfect).

The Smart, for me, is the worst belay device I've ever tried. In a "blind belay test" I realised my natural reaction was exactly the opposite of how a smart should be used and I'd drop the leader.

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yesbutnobutyesbut - on 13 May 2019

In reply to Andrew Kin:

> The gri gri can certainly be improved upon.  I haven’t even used one

I think you should have stopped there.

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teh_mark on 13 May 2019
In reply to galpinos:

I bought a heavier weight Exolite softshell for winter, as I was worried the Squall wouldn't be windproof enough and would lead to wearing more layers. It otherwise gets worn pretty much everywhere I go climbing.

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MischaHY - on 14 May 2019
In reply to PaulJepson:

> There's no knot to put the carabiner in, it goes directly into the Kong plate. You need to tie a stopper knot in the end of the rope but this is no more bulky than the sewn section of a Connect Adjust. 

Touché, it's been a while since I'd used one and I had the image of a subsequent knot in the end - but you're correct, of course. 

> I've not used the Connect in the field but use the Slyde regularly and never had any issues. Can't imagine tying in takes up any more space than the bulky larks foot you do with the Petzl (and the figure 8 absorbs more shock). I only use it for sport, where I have a single rope and backup cleaning sling tied to one side and the Kong to the other. Don't like it for trad as too much anchor faff (unless there's strops or bolted belays, I guess).

Oh, I'm not saying it doesn't work - just that the connect is smoother and easier to release based on my experience. This could of course be influenced by the rope used in the slyde. 

For trad I use it on single pitch belaying at the top so I can escape the system. Trad multis it does also get used because I tend to build belays with master points which is convenient for swinging leads. If block leading on trad it's also great to be able to switch your personal anchor over to your partner's duplicate belay (assuming you use the technique of both carrying enough biners to duplicate a belay swiftly) although this is mainly a time saving exercise. 

> Buying a length of 9mm rope took all of no minutes at my local climbing shop and cost about £4. The Slyde was about £5 so you're looking at ~£10 for the same thing I can't find for less than 3x that. 

This works great for experienced climbers who are confident with cutting ropes, dressing knots well for permanent use etc. For people who are a bit green to the sport the concept of a pre-packaged PAS that works out of the box without question is a very attractive option. 

Have to say I never use it for sport. I just clip myself into a draw to thread (or better, take the victory whipper and get my partner to strip it ;-) ) 

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JRJones - on 14 May 2019
In reply to gravy:

> gathering chalk next to the size 14 nut I got for Christmas 10 years ago and have never placed.

Leave it there. I have never known a piece of gear to jump out of cracks with so much enthusiasm as that giant blue malevolent nut.

With regards the grigri, I have almost no idea how to use one, and no real desire to learn. If I was going to do more sport climbing I'd probably buy a Megajul for half the price. 

While I'm here, my smelly orange jacket is the pinnacle of smelly jacket design!

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MischaHY - on 15 May 2019
In reply to JRJones:

If you're going to buy a Jul at least make it the Jul 2. It's far, far better than the Megajul. 

The grigri is far better than both. 

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L Old Mountain Git on 15 May 2019
In reply to jayjackson:

> I’m going to disagree here...

> The panic function Petzl have built into the ID (an “industrial gri gri” for want of a better term) is superb, does exactly what you say and prevents panic pulling on the handle resulting in a loss of control, it also limits the speed of descent (although once you get the feel for it you can still go plenty fast enough).

The ID is like abseiling with your Mum. ISC D4 is far better IMO.

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TobyA on 15 May 2019
In reply to MischaHY:

> If you're going to buy a Jul at least make it the Jul 2. It's far, far better than the Megajul. 

> The grigri is far better than both. 

Not if you're using double ropes!

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MischaHY - on 15 May 2019
In reply to TobyA:

But then you clearly wouldn't be using a Grigri, would you?? 

You can't say a grigri isn't good because you want to do something that it's not designed for. That's like saying a lambo is shit because you can't get a sofa in the back. 

Incidentally I've just got a Gigajul to test from work and first impressions are that it is piss poor on ropes 9.5 or thicker. I'll try it with my halves in the alps soon enough so perhaps that will be different. Hardly the 'device to end all devices' that Edelrid were promising, however. 

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deepsoup - on 15 May 2019
In reply to Old Mountain Git:

> ISC D4 is far better IMO.

Funny that the post you're replying to describes the I'D as an "industrial Grigri" - whether the ISC D4 is a better descender than the I'D is probably a matter for debate, but it very obviously has much more in common with the Grigri than the I'D does.

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jayjackson - on 15 May 2019
In reply to Old Mountain Git:

Ha, my Mum is pretty ace at climbing and abseiling actually, but I get your point!

The D4 is a great bit of kit I agree. 

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