Mast Climbing

Unassisted Mast Climbing with GriGri

Not recommended but here it is


In the article on Unassisted Mast Climbing I prefer the modified method but mention that the GriGri method is easier to use. There are two things I did not like about the GriGri method 1) It requires re-rigging the setup at the top of the mast. That is really a most unpleasant experience. 2) The descent, while quick and easy, it jerky and can be frightening and if you panic, can be really scary. I have developed a new method for the re-rigging and descent that solves the second complaint but you still need to do the re-rigging. This article presents that technique and reviews the GriGri method.

The Basic System (before improved descent)

For review, Here is the original video. The climbing part is unchanged so watching this up to the top will show how to setup and climb using the GriGri setup.

You can stop the video once you get to the top or you can review the old way of getting down.


There are three changes to the technique to make the descent both easier and safer.
  1. Use 10.5mm static line instead of the thicker 11mm line. The 11mm was significantly harder to work with making the descents jerk. The device specification is: optimized for 9.4mm - 10.3mm ropes
  2. Thread the line through the carabineer to provide additional descending friction
  3. Grasp both the backup prusik knot and the tail of the static line in you right hand and work the GriGri with your left.


I recommend static climbing 8.9 to 11mm rope, it works better with 9 to 9.5mm line.

Descending Technique


Video of Descent

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