Set a Trail Through Scree

Set a Trail Through Scree"Scree" is defined as the small rocks that slide off rock formations because of weathering or erosion. When this debris slides, it settles into fields called scree field. Hiking through scree can be dangerous because the material is unstable. Setting a trail of where you have hiked provides a useful suggestion for the next hiker in the area.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Rocks (can be gathered on-site)
  • Sturdy hiking shoes
Step 1
Gather a small group of people or at least a partner before hiking in a scree field. It's important to have enough people to stage a rescue effort if someone slides and gets hurt.
Step 2
Examine the scree field and enter at the spot where the slope of the hill looks to be the most gentle.
Step 3
Hike across the field in a straight line so falling debris does not injure members of your party hiking below you.
Step 4
Use hiking poles and walk slowly, testing your foot placement before applying your full weight at every step.
Step 5
When you find successful trails, set cairns to mark your progress. Set cairns about 20 feet apart.

Tips & Warnings

Try alternate routes by hiking at a diagonal up or down from your original route line. Remember your first line might not be your best option.
Hiking through scree fields should not be attempted in wet weather.

Article Written By Caroline Schley

Based in New York City, Caroline Schley has been writing articles on fitness, social interaction and politics since 2008. Her articles have appeared in "The Tahoe Weekly," "Second Line News" and websites, including Schley graduated from CU Boulder in 2005 with a degree in environmental science.

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