So I have just finished watching newish video by Grivel. It was longer than needed, but I prised my eyes open with matchsticks and saw it all the way through to the end. Apparently its length was to avoid translation issues (read expenses!), but with the ‘connected society’s’ attention span stretching to all of two minutes I am not sure if they lose more than they gain with that approach! Right at the end the tag line was ‘Join the Safety Revolution’. Which was rather bizarre, as I would like to think I was very much a part of that, but marketing people need to come up with a way to help push their brand ahead of the rest, and in this case use fear as a selling agent. A weapon that governments use well to control us!
In many walks of life there is a famous phase of polishing a turd, which whilst not really getting to grips with the exact problem here, it is close. As climbing equipment has evolved over the years to be primarily safer, lighter and easier to use. If you design something that does not in someway improve one or more of these fields you have made a retrograde step in evolution.
So is the Grivel twin gate a retro grade step in evolution or is it trying to solve a problem that is of negliable importance. First off it doesn’t look lighter. Secondly despite Grivel’s claims that it is easy to use which are probably well founded, I argue that it is never going to be as easy to use as normal snap gate, so in that respect it is a retrograde evolution.
Finally I can’t deny that it is safer than a normal snap gate. However my point is going to come back to the “Safety Revolution”. In all my years climbing, I may have heard that ropes have come unclipped from bolts or pegs, through what I dub the phantom unclip. I have only seen it happen once in literally thousands of routes both climbed and observed over the years. I have never heard of someone dying or being injured as a result, but as I have seen it happen we can assume that people have. My argument is that the chance is so unlikely that does the added encumbrance of a double action gate make it a viable solution to a virtually insignificant problem?
I will leave that up to you to decide, as my idea of safety and using those ‘dangerous’ snap gates that we have all been using for the last 50 odd years, is obvious going against Grivel’s “Safety Revolution”. However maybe your safety net is higher than mine, maybe you know someone who was unlucky enough to have the phantom unclip at the wrong time and like a born again evangelist want to save us from ourselves.
Below is the video, did you watch it all the way through? What did you think of the new device? More importantly are you going to join the “Safety Revolution” or do you consider yourself to already be part of it without this device?