|The specialist window cleaning contractors are masters at working at heights and in the most challenging circumstances. It is estimated someone falling from the Skywalk would take more than 20 seconds to hit the Colorado River below.|
Window cleaners become high wire artists to scrub the Grand Canyon viewing platform four thousand feet above the Colorado River: A specialist team of technicians clamber over the edge of the $30 million Grand Canyon Skywalk to spring clean it. The Canyon is more than three miles wide at that point and the Skywalk is 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. The specially-strengthened glass panes have recently been replaced for the first time since it opened in 2007. Workers spent two days at the end of April completing the highly-technical cleaning operation on the Skywalk. Click all pictures to enlarge.
Brave window cleaners dangle thousands of feet above the Grand Canyon - while giving its 'Skywalk' a spring clean. Technicians cleaned more than 40 panes of glass while taking in the awe-inspiring views of the Colorado River 4000ft below. The horseshoe-shaped structure, which cost $30M to build and juts out 70ft, was opened in March 2007 and offers visitors stomach-churning views.
The Skywalk is cleaned by Abseilon USA, a Phoenix-based company who belong to the Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians. Abseilon's eight technicians - two of whom carried out the cleaning itself - operate a two-line system, which offers workers '200 per cent fall protection'. This system means despite the stomach-churning images and video that the technicians were able to capture, the process itself is extremely safe. Should an error occur in any part of a technician's rope system, they still have at least one additional system to fall back on.
The clean took place between April 27 and April 29 and as well as working on the glass, technicians also rappelled into the Canyon, collecting rubbish and items dropped by visitors. Ken Piposar, founder and CEO of Abseilon USA, said: 'The Skywalk actually just recently replaced the glass, so we came through to perform a spring cleaning. 'We're always a big hit at the Skywalk. 'People love to ask us questions, get their photo taken with us, and find out what we're doing. 'While we do get a lot of "you people are crazy" most visitors to the Skywalk think what we do is amazing. 'A lot of people also offer us their prayers, which we always find to be sweet.'