The Gigi (In response to Steph Davis)

I am writing this blog in response to Steph Davis’s blog on the Gigi. I think the device is a bit confusing to the general user, and it takes more knowledge to use than one might think. While I agree with Steph that the Gigi is a great peice of gear,  I think that there are some thing to consider.

One is weight. The Gigi is 2.4 oz; BD ATC-guide is 3.1 ; Petzl Reverso 4 is 2.1. So the Reverson IS lighter.

The Gigi does tend to wear out–maybe not as fast but I am on my 2nd one and I don’t use them as often as my Reverso. They will last longer than the Reverso or ATC though.

The Gigi is easier to pull rope through but this is also its downfall: it only accepts larger ropes as smaller (think twin or small doubles) can flip and the device not “auto-lock” any more. Rob (a fellow AMGA certified guide) shows in detail some specifics about this here: http://www.elevationoutdoors.com/blogs/master-of-none/the-kong-gigi-totally-cool-if-used-correctly/

Steph talks about needing a different device to belay the leader. She is correct in some ways, which means that now you need another device! You can actually belay a leader with the Gigi and I believe the manual actually shows this. The key here is using 2 carabineers; which of course is more weight.

Steph says the Gigi is not made for lowering.  She is right in the fact that it is not made for lowering just as it isn’t made for lead belaying and/or rappelling. You can lower a climber with it just like you do with a redirected plate or atc, and this is very similar to rappelling. There is very little friction here, just like when rappelling. Here is a short video on flipping an ATC-guide.

I do agree with Steph’s statements about the time savings and being able to take care of yourself at the belay while bringing up your partners. I also agree that whoever invented it was genius……for their time. I think we have far superior devices for everyday use. With that being said, I will use one when my tendonitis flairs up mid-season from belaying thousands of feet of rope a day, but I still won’t leave home without my Petzl Reverso 4!

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