The newest iteration of the GRIGRI assisted braking belay device was recently released at The OutDoor Show in Friedrichshafen, Germany.
The GRIGRI+ features a slightly bulkier body than its predecessor the GRIGRI2, and includes multiple ergonomic features which encourage safer, more intuitive belaying. Most notably, the new design includes an “anti-panic” function that causes the device to lock up in the event that a belayer panics under pressure and pulls hard on the cam release lever (as opposed to letting go). While a safe belay is ultimately dependent on the proficiency and responsibility of the belayer, this new feature could go a long way toward preventing more accidents like Ashima Shiraishi’s ground fall earlier this month.
The GRIGRI+ also features a switch mechanism that allows belayers to change between top rope and lead mode, adjusting the ease with which rope flows through the device in either direction.
Find out more more here: http://www.abaris.co.uk/blog/news/new-grigri-petzl/
(or here, if you speak German: http://www.alpinsport-basis-blog.de/?p=4923)