How to Lead Belay With A GriGri

Many climbing gyms require climbers use Petzl GriGris for top-roping. In fact, GriGris are quickly becoming the standard belay device for climbing gyms. We can safely say the GriGri is the best belay device for indoor rock climbing.

However, when you decide you want to advance from top-rope rock climbing to lead climbing, things get a little more complicated. Some people will say you should lead belay with an ATC, while others say it’s best to learn to lead belay with a GriGri.

Most lead belay classes are taught with ATCs, leaving climbers who may have learned to belay on a GriGri (or bought a GriGri) a little confused.

Here’s a great video from the American Mountain Guides Association which explains how to lead belay with a gri gri.

There are currently two versions of the GriGri on the market.

The GriGri ($90) is the “standard” device,

The GriGri Plus ($135) incorporates an “anti-panic” feature to reduce instances where the belayer holds the lever open and drops their climber to the ground.

Both are great devices for any serious climber to own.