Eric Berghorn on Mystery Hole .10a at The Far Side...
The Far Side is mainly pocketed climbing on moderate steep steep faces. Its actually a bunch of ~50 foot rocks in one dense area, and none of them (to my knowledge) have been named, so we adress them in group. The climbing tends to be either extemely run out, or mixed bolts and trad... depending on your mindset and rack. Its a beautiful place that's far enough off the beaten path not see much traffic.
At the Bubble on the fire trail follow the trail starting slight left of the rock. It will take you gradually uphill for a mile, (above a couple other rocks with climbing potential, if you're interested). Finally, it will abruptly reach an odvious climbing area with Mills-Shute route directly in front of you. Its a great warm-up for the day, and about the best-protected climb in the area.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Far Side:
This steep slab route is on the highest spire at the Far Side. Airy exposure and breath taking views make you want to take extra rests on this Mt. St. Helena classic....[more]Browse More Classics in CA
The trail from The Bubble is about 1/2 mile up and down hill. Watch out for Poison Oak along the way- it is difficult to see, as it is mixed in with the various other diciduous species in the undergrowth you are meandering past and through. This and the occasional sharp branch dictate the favor of wearing long pants for this approach.
PS- the rock here is a little better than at The Bubble.
Many of the early routes here were established by Ken Stanton and friends back in the '80s. This isn't a pure "sport" crag. Take some gear with you. There is often ample protection in the horizontal slots. Tri-cams and TCUs are helpful. With this in mind, the X ratings given many of these climbs seem excessive. Most routes do not have lower-off anchors. Its easy to set up top rope anchors for most climbs with long slings, and you can scramble to/from the anchors around the back.
About half way along the trail from the Bubble you pass an exposed rocky area on a ridge. A few minutes beyond this area the trail appears to fork uphill and downhill--be sure to take the downhill option to get to the Far Side (the uphill option quickly ends).
There is an easy trail going around the base of the first rock formation, but getting to the upper rock formations requires some unpleasant scrambling. When descending from the upper rock formations, downclimbing the gully to the right of Shute-Mills is a bit sketchy--you might consider rappelling Shute-Mills instead.
The naming of the route "New Tradition" was meant to symbolize the new style (circa 2000) of bolting ethic this area deserves. I am happy to see this tradition taking hold. According to some comments, however, another new, new tradition is to upgrade the ratings for almost every climb out there.
What ever happened to the good old fashioned sandbagging that once gave the Far Side it's character?