It doesn't help when the introduction specifically states: "Probably the most important thing in this terrain is to try to avoid the erosion gullies as much as possible. ..."
Rhombus, I've been noticing that too, straight is usually the best, or a close second. It's almost never the slowest route. This make me realize that when there isn't an obvious path around, with clear benefits, go straight.
Going straight is more challenging physically and technically so in order to be able to take, often, the best route and get all the benefits, you need to be strong.