First off, congrats on the "alpine route"! I think you'll find after doing more of these that the slope pictured will feel a lot more comfortable for you.
Ice axes are not just for ice!
Since it is rock I'm not sure how useful it would be to have a pickaxe ready to arrest one's fall.
Actually, it could be quite useful, especially because ...
You are correct that it is called scree. Depending on the incline and rock makeup it can be either relatively easy or almost impassable to cross. If you are traversing you want to pick a straight line across or with a slight "incline" since you inevitably will slide down a bit as you make your way across. I like to have a trekking pole on my ...
Cols and passes serves the same purpose -- they are crossover from one valley into another. From geomorphological point of view, the Col is a saddle point between two peaks, whereas the pass is a saddle point between two valleys.
For example, Auden's Col is a saddle point between Gangotri III (6580 m) peak and Jogin I (6465 m) peak of the Garhwal Himalayas.