Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Correct Terminology: Talus Slope vs. Scree Field

Post general questions and discuss issues related to climbing.
 

Correct Terminology: Talus Slope vs. Scree Field

Postby Bubba Suess » Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:28 am

Are the terms interchangeable or are there differences between them? Thanks for any clarification!
User Avatar
Bubba Suess

 
Posts: 697
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:15 pm
Location: Mount Shasta, California, United States
Thanked: 173 times in 97 posts

Re: Correct Terminology: Talus Slope vs. Scree Field

Postby yatsek » Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:44 am

It seems to me that "scree" is a broader term than "talus". The latter only refers to debris broken off a cliff over time and accumulated just below it, typically at an angle of 30 to 40 degrees.
User Avatar
yatsek

 
Posts: 851
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:04 pm
Location: Poland
Thanked: 49 times in 38 posts

Re: Correct Terminology: Talus Slope vs. Scree Field

Postby Fred Spicker » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:17 pm

By their technical definitions, scree and talus are the same.

Most climbers that I know (esp. in Glacier National Park) use scree to describe smaller sized material up to gravel size and talus for larger material.

Many descriptions in the climbing guide to Glacier mention when scree slopes (vs talus) are involved since scree slopes provide a quick and fun descent because you can run down.
User Avatar
Fred Spicker

 
Posts: 1284
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2002 5:47 am
Location: Spokane, Washington, United States
Thanked: 51 times in 30 posts

The following user would like to thank Fred Spicker for this post
Yury

Re: Correct Terminology: Talus Slope vs. Scree Field

Postby Scott » Fri Nov 01, 2013 1:45 pm

Most climbers that I know (esp. in Glacier National Park) use scree to describe smaller sized material up to gravel size and talus for larger material.


Agree.

In common usage among climbers, scree is smaller than talus. Scree is used for loose pebbles or gravel on a slope. Talus is bigger and can even include house sized rocks.

Also, with climbing usage, sometimes talus can be pretty solid or very loose. Scree is always loose.

The Oxford English Dictionary, states that the first recorded written use of the term "scree" was by the Reverend John Hutton in the glossary of his 1781 guidebook, "Tour to Caves" (2nd Ed.), in which he defined "scree" as small stones or pebbles and that the first recorded written use of the term "talus" was by the eminent English geologist Sir Charles Lyell in his classic 1830 treatise, "Principles of Geology."
User Avatar
Scott

 
Posts: 7452
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2003 1:03 pm
Location: Craig, Colorado, United States
Thanked: 553 times in 308 posts

The following user would like to thank Scott for this post
Mark Doiron

Re: Correct Terminology: Talus Slope vs. Scree Field

Postby Bubba Suess » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:24 pm

That sounds pretty good. Thanks much!
User Avatar
Bubba Suess

 
Posts: 697
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:15 pm
Location: Mount Shasta, California, United States
Thanked: 173 times in 97 posts

Re: Correct Terminology: Talus Slope vs. Scree Field

Postby MoapaPk » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:08 pm

I'm told the Sierra Club once had a size distinction, but I've failed to find a quantitative reference.
User Avatar
MoapaPk

 
Posts: 7610
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:42 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 739 times in 477 posts

Re: Correct Terminology: Talus Slope vs. Scree Field

Postby Bob Sihler » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:18 pm

Fred Spicker wrote:Most climbers that I know (esp. in Glacier National Park) use scree to describe smaller sized material up to gravel size and talus for larger material.


This ^^^^^^^^

If it's scree, you can often "ski" down it.
"Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off."

--Terry Lennox, The Long Goodbye (Raymond Chandler)
User Avatar
Bob Sihler
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 7296
Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:20 pm
Location: Herndon, Virginia
Thanked: 1820 times in 1030 posts

Re: Correct Terminology: Talus Slope vs. Scree Field

Postby Catamount » Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:55 pm

Talus slope New England style ...

Image
User Avatar
Catamount

 
Posts: 302
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:13 am
Location: Tech Valley, New York, United States
Thanked: 768 times in 496 posts

Re: Correct Terminology: Talus Slope vs. Scree Field

Postby Bubba Suess » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:13 pm

Thanks. This is the area that prompted my curiosity:
Image
Even though there are some pretty big rocks here I would still call this scree. In fact you can here the stuff sliding and rocks falling as it still seeks its angle of repose.
User Avatar
Bubba Suess

 
Posts: 697
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:15 pm
Location: Mount Shasta, California, United States
Thanked: 173 times in 97 posts

Re: Correct Terminology: Talus Slope vs. Scree Field

Postby mrchad9 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:27 pm

Yup. Definitely scree.

For me, basically if it is better to ascend than descend then it is talus. If better to descend then its scree.
User Avatar
mrchad9

 
Posts: 4176
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:01 am
Location: San Ramon, California, United States
Thanked: 1202 times in 814 posts

Re: Correct Terminology: Talus Slope vs. Scree Field

Postby Bob Sihler » Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:22 pm

Bubba Suess wrote:Thanks. This is the area that prompted my curiosity:
Image
Even though there are some pretty big rocks here I would still call this scree. In fact you can here the stuff sliding and rocks falling as it still seeks its angle of repose.


Hideous, agonizing, why-would-anyone-want-to-do-that scree.

Unless you're descending it!
"Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off."

--Terry Lennox, The Long Goodbye (Raymond Chandler)
User Avatar
Bob Sihler
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 7296
Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:20 pm
Location: Herndon, Virginia
Thanked: 1820 times in 1030 posts

Re: Correct Terminology: Talus Slope vs. Scree Field

Postby Bubba Suess » Fri Nov 01, 2013 6:40 pm

Bob Sihler wrote:
Bubba Suess wrote:Thanks. This is the area that prompted my curiosity:
Image
Even though there are some pretty big rocks here I would still call this scree. In fact you can here the stuff sliding and rocks falling as it still seeks its angle of repose.


Hideous, agonizing, why-would-anyone-want-to-do-that scree.

Unless you're descending it!


Fortunately I don't have to. I have been scouting this canyon out in preparation for a circumnavigation of Mount Shasta next summer. The canyon in the image is the biggest obstacle to a successful circuit and thankfully I don't have to descend or climb that section. Most of the canyon is nasty scree but the area around Mud Creek Falls is more stable, with large boulders to climb. Otherwise, that would really, really stink.
User Avatar
Bubba Suess

 
Posts: 697
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:15 pm
Location: Mount Shasta, California, United States
Thanked: 173 times in 97 posts

Re: Correct Terminology: Talus Slope vs. Scree Field

Postby mrchad9 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:04 pm

How many days is the trip expected to be?
User Avatar
mrchad9

 
Posts: 4176
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:01 am
Location: San Ramon, California, United States
Thanked: 1202 times in 814 posts

Re: Correct Terminology: Talus Slope vs. Scree Field

Postby Bubba Suess » Fri Nov 01, 2013 8:39 pm

I am thinking 4 days or so. To some degree it will depend on how much time I can make to do it and how much time my buddy can get off from work. We would prefer to do it in five days just to be out longer and not have to come home right away, but we will see.
User Avatar
Bubba Suess

 
Posts: 697
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:15 pm
Location: Mount Shasta, California, United States
Thanked: 173 times in 97 posts

Re: Correct Terminology: Talus Slope vs. Scree Field

Postby mrchad9 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 9:36 pm

You should start from your front door too! Would be awsome to hike for 4-5 days without even driving to a trailhead.
User Avatar
mrchad9

 
Posts: 4176
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:01 am
Location: San Ramon, California, United States
Thanked: 1202 times in 814 posts

Next

Return to General

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.