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Last updated on Monday 20th February, 2017

I've been using some of the new video clips from the BMC website on climbing wall award courses and on other climbing sessions. They are really useful in emphasising key skills to help climbers improve their grade and raise awareness about safety.

Take a look at the BMC pagesclick here

tying on with a figure eight knot

One of the great thngs about living in Shropshire is being able to get out and explore the rich and varied landscape that makes this county so interesting. If you've ever wondered is the Wrekin a volcano as you drive along the A5 towards Shrewsbury and onto North Wales, or why the Wenlock Edge is such a continuous limestone Edge, perhaps you should look at Shropshire Rocks click here - this is a great website that explains the geology of Shropshire.

harebell on the Long Mynd

There has been interest in the new Grigri launched by Petzl earlier this month - they have called it a belay device with assisted locking, as opposed to a auto locking belay device. The following is an extract from the review of these types of belay devices from UK Climbing:

Grigri 2 by Petzl
The basic operation is the same as the old Grigri but the device is much lighter and more compact. One of the problems with the old Grigri was that it wasn't rated for the skinny single ropes that many climbers now prefer to use, and also that it could get a bit grabby when feeding rope quickly to a leader which resulted in some climbers using a special technique to hold the cam down, while paying the rope out (see Grigri video). If done incorrectly then this technique could compromise the safety of the device, especially on skinny ropes.
The Grigri 2 is rated for ropes from 8.9mm to 11mm. We found that the rope feed with skinny ropes (<10mm) was good and gave few problems. It also performed significantly better than the old Grigri when holding falls on these thin ropes and overall the action was excellent and intuitive. For a new 10mm rope it became a little more 'grabby' when feeding but was still perfectly useable. For an old furry 10mm rope we found the grabbiness of the device started to become a problem and it was quite a struggle to feed it through the device with any ease. We tried a new 11mm rope and weren't able to get this to work properly with the device at all.
Summary - A great improvement over the already-good Grigri in terms of lightness and handling of thinner ropes. Doesn't function well with older 10mm ropes and didn't function at all with 11mm ropes in our testing.

Also in the same test was the Trango Cinch pictured here.

trango cinch in use

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