Portable Pressure Washer for Graffiti Removal • Monkey Face Falls

The Monkey Face Falls graffiti removal project sponsored by the Coalition of American Canyoneers was a great success today: Saturday, August 1, 2015. Earlier in the week, Dane Winkelman showed Calius and Sonny Lawrence a sneak route to access the lower canyon above the graffiti. That made it easy for Kirk Belles, Robert Hill, Dan Kerr, Trevor Walton, Paul Stovall, Bill Loenhorst, Rick Dean, Andrew Weig, Chelsey Bogh, Vlad Steklac, Sonny and Calius.

The event had been threatened by thunderstorm that, fortunately, did not materialize. The litter had to be assembled in order to transport the hundred pound pressure washer cross-country to the base of the last waterfall. At this point a guideline was rigged with a raise system to lift the washer up about 70 feet to the top of the last waterfall. Just enough tension was kept in the guideline to dance the washer up the rock while two attendants ascended on either side to stabilize it. Of course, the day could not be complete without malfunctioning radios and some tree climbing to rig high off the ground.

Things were looking bleak when we fired up the engine but could not get the pump to pressurize the water. Thankfully Bill arrived at the same time. He knows the machine intimately. After much fiddling, it worked quite well, but then reality struck us in the face. The polished, sun-baked granite is an excellent taggers graffiti canvas. The paint would not come off. We were successful with some test areas of paint remover followed by the pressure washer, but that is not a solution for the entire canyon. So home went Bill to obtain the attachments to convert the water pressure washer into a sand/water washer. That ripped the graffiti off quite well. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and sand before all of the graffiti was removed. However, the day was quite successful in learning how to transport and operate the system.

Development of the Portable Pressure Washer: http://www.americancanyoneers.org/what-we-do/conservation/pressure-washer/

Thanks to all who donated for the pressure washer and, of course, those who sailed on its maiden voyage today. To get a sense of what is involved in getting the pressure washer to the base of the falls, up the falls, and doing the removal, click on the first photo to see the full scale images.