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Echo Cove - North Side
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Battle of Britain (aka Penelope Street) T 
Chute Up T 
Echo Buttress TR 
Fun Stuff T 
Fun with a Gun T 
Hang Ten T 
Helix T 
Hot Knife T 
Palm-U-Granite T 
Pepasan T 
Pigs on the Wing T 
Pinky Lee T 
Porky Pig TR 
R. A. F. T 
Raging Intensity T 
Santa's Little Helpers T 
Sound of One Shoe Tapping, The T 
Swing Low S 
Tofu the Dwarf T 
W. A. C. T 
White Fang T 

R. A. F. 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 70'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Dave Houser and Alan Winter, January 1976
Page Views: 2,169
Submitted By: Mark J. Nelson on Nov 8, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (66)
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BETA PHOTO: RAF (left) to Hot Knife (right). Copyright 2003, b...


Locate the tall face where The Sound of One Shoe Tapping and W. A. C. converge; this route is on the second rock to the right. You can access the top of the rock via a fourth-class gully left of the face.

R. A. F. is the rightmost of two routes that diverge near the first bolt; Penelope Street (aka Battle of Britain), 5.10a/b, is the left of the two.

Nice friction, with the cruxy moves only slightly above bolts.


Three bolts.

Photos of R. A. F. Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Finding his way up RAF after making the second cli...
Finding his way up RAF after making the second cli...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rerouting up RAF - draws on Swing Low to the right...
Rerouting up RAF - draws on Swing Low to the right...
Rock Climbing Photo: Closeup of R.A.F.
BETA PHOTO: Closeup of R.A.F.

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 13, 2013
By Randy
Dec 18, 2003

Alan Winter was of British orgin and Dave Houser named the route R.A.F. not for a Royal Air Force as might be supposed, but for Royal [or Real] Ass F*cker -- for the reason Alan's comment below explains.
By alan winter
Feb 7, 2004

The real reason it was called RAF, was that there was a rather large Yucca with very pointy branches right at the start of the route. In fact, at the start we had to traverse in from the right to get above it. So Dave and I decided on the pun right when we finished the route. I don't know if the Yucca is still there. But the reason for the route name should now be obvious and an inside joke for years. It has been a long time since I climbed. I miss the old crowd of Mike Waugh, Dave, and the others. Randy has an excellent memory to remember that I am English.
By Kevin Currigan
From: Lakewood
Feb 13, 2004

I didn't see that yucca but if I had led this I would have been looking for it (so I wouldn't land on it). This is a real spicy friction climb. There are 0 big holds and its all balance. There are no anchors at the top so you'll need some gear for the belay.
By R. White
Mar 16, 2004

Anyone know what the variation to the left near the top goes at? I believe that the Vogel guide has it at 10a but it felt more like 10c to me.
By Steve Powell
Dec 10, 2004
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I climbed this on 12/09/04. Haven't been climbing a whole lot, but thought the crux to be a little harder than just 5.9. A very nice route. Definitely will be back.
By Locker
From: Yucca Valley, CA
Dec 10, 2004
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I tend to agree with 510b4me on the rating. But 5.9/5.9+ whatever depending/ It is a fun as hell, friction plus zero hold Jtree special. There are anchors on top that can be used now to bring up your second. Hopefull they will not be chopped by some SOB thinking he/she is God of the rock.
By Adam Stackhouse
Feb 21, 2006
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Led this route many many years ago, sans the belay bolts at the top. Fun face route, good for the rating of 5.9
By Bo Johnston
Feb 22, 2006
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

Fun route and a little spicy after the second bolt. What is the nice looking bolted route about 5 feet to the right of it.
By Adam Stackhouse
Apr 15, 2006
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

BPJ, the bolted route to the right of this is Swing Low, 5.7....see description.
By Rodger Raubach
Sep 8, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

A decent climb on good rock. Worthwhile doing on a rest day. Only "two star" to me... Trickier than it looks.
By Donno
From: Newport Beach
Oct 8, 2012

"Worthwhile on a rest day": hilarious. Lead this when you're well rested and have a handful of recent 5.9 slabs under your belt. Sustained and runout on top.
By edehaven
May 6, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

For sure a fun and worthwhile route to add to a tick list. Not sure about it being spicy or having no holds at all, as that as far as Jtree friction is concerned it has perfect tiny edges and little bulges everwhere you need them and the bolts are right around each crux making it a great route to test your friction limits without paying a big price.
If I am in the area its a route I never miss and always smile after. Try Swing low right next to it or WAC on the next buldge left to make it a 5.7, 5.8, 5.9 circuit of jtree slab
By Wael
From: Palmdale, CA
Jun 13, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

The Route Is great and has superb friction! Not many holds but who needs any when you have such great rock!

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