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muneutrino


Nov 29, 2012, 12:43 PM
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climbing and window washing
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anybody ever worked as a high-rise window washer, or at another rope-access kind of job? How well do skills from climbing translate? Is it enough like climbing to be fun, or at least more so than other jobs?


vinnie83


Nov 29, 2012, 2:42 PM
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Re: [muneutrino] climbing and window washing [In reply to]
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I talked to a window washing company in LA a while back while I was in between jobs hoping I could earn some extra cash on the side. They didn't seem at all impressed that I was a climber or had spent several years in a full time/paid position doing high angle search and rescue.

Window washing can be done either on a platform (climbing experience probably not going to translate too well) or in a harness. While it could and I'm sure regularly is done with climbing gear or similar industrial specific hardware made by climbing companies this outfit sounded like they were using something else altogether.

At least in southern california it seemed to be a seasonal job.

I'm sure there are people on the forum with actually work experience who can hopefully give you more info. I'm guessing it is probably fairly monotonous, but probably better than sitting inside in a cubicle all day.


USnavy


Nov 29, 2012, 7:54 PM
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Re: [muneutrino] climbing and window washing [In reply to]
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Well, you dont climb up buildings to clean windows, you rappel down them. So climbing experience wont translate to much. However, general technical knowledge gained from climbing, such as how to rappel and tie knots, can only help.


(This post was edited by USnavy on Nov 29, 2012, 7:54 PM)


muneutrino


Nov 29, 2012, 8:26 PM
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Re: [USnavy] climbing and window washing [In reply to]
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Yeah, I was aware about the rapping down bit, thanks...it was the rope handling, anchor building, general safety system kind of knowledge I was wondering about. Wasn't sure if the gear or situations encountered would be comparable enough to make principles carry over (other than basic physics).


danabart


Nov 29, 2012, 8:40 PM
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Re: [muneutrino] climbing and window washing [In reply to]
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I knew two guys who did it in Philadelphia, climbers. They both said it paid okay but not great and the work was boring and uncomfortable, cold, etc. That was a while ago, maybe now, in another city with better weather . . .
Climbers also look into tower maintenance: Go on Supertopo and ask Hankster about that gig. Sounded terrible.


USnavy


Nov 30, 2012, 5:40 PM
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Re: [muneutrino] climbing and window washing [In reply to]
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muneutrino wrote:
Yeah, I was aware about the rapping down bit, thanks...it was the rope handling, anchor building, general safety system kind of knowledge I was wondering about. Wasn't sure if the gear or situations encountered would be comparable enough to make principles carry over (other than basic physics).
Anchor building? No. You attach the working line to a bolt with a biner and attach the safety line to a different bolt with a different biner. That's your anchor. As far as the equipment goes, the stuff they use is a bit more industrial: a ID'L instead of a GriGri, a industrial harness instead of a climbing harness, and an ASAP for a back-up. But yea, it's not rocket science to figure out how to use that stuff.


muneutrino


Nov 30, 2012, 7:22 PM
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Re: [USnavy] climbing and window washing [In reply to]
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So you've done this before, then? Building's have pre-built anchor systems? I was under the impression that there were some forms of removable gear and that not every building would have the same set up - in which case, while I obviously wasn't imagining plugging climbing pro into a building, principles like load equalization, etc, ought still to play a role.


muneutrino


Nov 30, 2012, 7:32 PM
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Re: [USnavy] climbing and window washing [In reply to]
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btw -assuming you have done this before - can I ask how you got into the business? Some searching around has indicated that vinnie seems to be right and most places are looking for rope access technician certifications or prior experience in their hiring, and a climbing background doesn't seem to balance a lack of either for them...do people get hired and trained on the job, or go out, get certified, and then look for work? Certification seems pretty expensive.


guangzhou


Nov 30, 2012, 8:55 PM
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Re: climbing and window washing [In reply to]
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I've done some rope access work here and there.

In Tennessee I worked as a rigger. Spent time in the rafters of the Nashville Arena and the Oppry-land Hotel.

How does climbing relate, semi related but not much at all. We walked the steel to set lights and other structures from the ceiling. H-beam down to 4 inch box steel. Most cases you walked unprotected and when you got where you were going you slung your leash around the steel you were straddling.

From there, you used a rigging lull rope. Soft on the hands and thick, to pull up a chain motor. The Chain motor would get cable to the beams and you headed to the next point.

Steel was usually between 90 and 150 feet up. Not much fun, but pays well.

You also get great seating to some spectacular concerns. Watched Elton John and Celine from 140 feet up with no crowd around me. (Was not as impressed with Puff Daddy.

Also did some rope access on dams for TVA in the South East.

Building work, we installed anti pigeon devises on several building in North Carolina, TN, and KY when I ran my guide service there.

Also do Rappel demonstrations and various other abseil events in the South East and California. All on buildings.

Never really came across buildings that had anchors ready made.


(This post was edited by guangzhou on Nov 30, 2012, 8:59 PM)


USnavy


Nov 30, 2012, 10:20 PM
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Re: [muneutrino] climbing and window washing [In reply to]
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muneutrino wrote:
So you've done this before, then? Building's have pre-built anchor systems? I was under the impression that there were some forms of removable gear and that not every building would have the same set up - in which case, while I obviously wasn't imagining plugging climbing pro into a building, principles like load equalization, etc, ought still to play a role.
I have only done it a few times, and not as a window washer, but as a stunt man, or to set up a highline between buildings, or something of the like and as an independent contractor. But the buildings I did it on had fixed anchors, except for one building where I just placed 1/2" climbing bolts in the roof.


DemolitionRed


Dec 6, 2012, 7:57 AM
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Re: [USnavy] climbing and window washing [In reply to]
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My husband and me do rope access work on a regular basis and are both members of IRATA.
Some of our recent jobs have been roof work and woodwork repairs to houses in the northern French alps.
The difference to normal climbing is we tend to use static rope instead of dynamic rope. We use ascenders which is something we don't tend to use in climbing walls. We also use ASAP's, sometimes a full body harness, a belay chair, an I.D which is the industrial Grigri (strong enough to carry two people and has a hands free break). We do have pulley's so that we can put together things like a block and tackle. This assists in tightening or raising a heavy load.
Using just your standard climbing gear is limiting. Also the gear that you normally climb with isn't rated for commercial use. That isn't a problem so long as you are not working on a commercial site or you need insurance.


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