As we turned off road I realised the trails were going to be a lot damper and muddier than I had expected. Both of us soon found the limit of our "summer" rear tyres on the ascent to Hollins Cross. Due to traction issues the easiest bit was the last steep, rocky bit which is usually the hardest bit!

At the trig point on Hollins Cross there were lots of other mountain bikers arriving and departing in all directions. There was some trailquest event on and the bikes we saw pretty much all had maps attached to their bars. As we climbed up the bridleway towards Mam Tor we were overtaken by a speedy trailquester (who went the wrong way up the footpath!) and left behind some more chilled competitors who pushed up the bridleway behind us. We would keep crossing paths with various riders from the event all day.

Rushup Edge was engulfed in low cloud which wetted us as we progressed. It wasn't cold though and we didn't need to don coats. Having completed the initial climb the next boggy sections put paid to any hope of us doing this ride clean or with dry feet! At the gate through the wall I had a quick fettle with the shock pump on my new forks before we commenced the first fun section of the route. The rocky trail with its steps was as fun as always and the Ibis suspension felt very good.

Once we got through the rather too frequent gates at the start there was more fun descending to Roych Clough before it was time to select "top of the shop" and grind out the climb. Literally grind it out in fact due to all that Peak grit eating away at our drive chains! I was wishing I had brought the hard tail as I heard the sound of XTR wearing away!

The descent down Coldwell Clough was fast and fun but the last section along to the river was well muddy. We were proper splattered by the time we stopped at the village shop in Hayfield to buy some lunch. As we finished our food and were about to head out a rain shower started that had us put our coats on for the first time. The forecast had been for the weather to get better as the day went on. Obviously it was wrong!

Not far into the climb up Snake Path we were cooking in our coats and took them off. There was still a fine drizzle of rain but we were getting wetter from sweating! It had been a long while since Steve had ridden many of these trails and he was gradually remembering various parts of our route. At the top of the descent down to Kinder Reservoir I pointed out the long climb across the valley that we were going to do. This memory jog didn't put a smile on his face!

The climb was as much of a slog as I remembered but we pedalled it all. I don't think the walkers that opened the gate for us at the bottom and gave us a bit of banter expected us too? Once we eventually got onto the next rocky climb up to Edale Cross it was the usual case of ride as much as you can and then walk. We knew we only had the last fun descent of Jacob's Ladder itself afterwards.

At the top of the ladder we had to pause to allow the large number of walkers on the trail to either finish going down it or move aside before we commenced our descent. As is often the case we got some bemused looks from some of them as we rode down.

At the bottom we opted to ride the ford as we had wet feet anyway before bombing down the farm track and back to Edale. I hadn't bothered to bring the Mobi so the bike went straight in the car before we tried to rub as much grit as possible off ourselves before heading to the pub for a swift one.

A great ride this one and as tough as I remember for such a short distance. For comparison we did a similar distance on Thursday night in 2 hours. This ride took us 4 and a half!