Burk was up for a ride so booked friday off, weather was looking mixed, turned out to be warmish but proper cloudy. After we did this ride last year Si said he fancied a go at it, I recommended waiting till after a dry spell and I was right. We parked up and set off, steep climb to start naturally. Up onto Sharp Haw on Flasby fell, the descent to Flasby is a cracker but today it was proper muddy so slower than last time and I quickly regretted having neither rear crud guard nor waterproof shorts. Road to Hetton then the long climb up rylstone fell. Once again I fluffed the steps near the top (no one else to blame this time), went back for another go, got passed the steps but was offline and soon had to stop, grrr. The route across the tops was fun apart from the multitude of puddle and the approach to embsay was a slog instead of a gentle singletrack freewheel. The crag was awesome as usual, dry and now free of ferns so it seemed easier as you could spot your line easier. I refused a steep chute switchback as I got blown off line on the entry, Burk followed suit but the rest was sketchily doable, brilliant.
No pub stop at Embsay village this time, along to Halton east and up moor lane where it went a bit wonky. Burks legs imploded (same spot as last time) I realised my PDA only had 1:50k map for the 2nd half of the route but wouldn't display the route ontop of it and we were quickly running out of time as Burk had to pick up his nipper from nursery. So scrap the 2nd half of the ride again, back to car via embsay again. Back to the crag and I managed to ride the chute, a right then left hander, the line through the 1st corner sends you straight at a big rock, I managed to get on top of it, lift the back end round a bit (thank the big S for SPDs) and down the second bit. Burk managed the first bit but couldn't get the back end round and had to dab but a good effort. A few not very short cuts got us to the car. Not a bad ride but will have to return again (after a dry spell) to do the full route.