After the South Sisters post Lizzy asked what gaiters do. Great question! They certainly don't make a fashion statement! Mine, on the left, are called desert gaiters, Rene's in the middle were trail running gators and Hannah's on the right were trail running gaiters as well, but made from a stretchy material.
The "debris" on the mountain is a lot of loose rocks and shale. The last mile is brutal. two steps up, one step sliding back.
Going up isn't near the problem of keeping debris out of your shoes ......
Going down is much worse. The first time climbing South Sisters I got so much loose rock in my shoe and going down such a steep incline for miles that my toes were so squished I ended up losing 2 toenails. (as if my feet aren't ugly enough!)
I neglected to say after making it down this amazingly steep 2 miles, (it goes flat for a short ways before getting steep again) I tripped over a root and went flying onto my knees and hands! The girls were behind me and were so scared I broke an ankle. Thank goodness I didn't, but my knees are scabbed, bruised and swollen! Icing them several days in a row have been helpful. Geez!