Nice to Meet You. Hi from Dropstone Outfitting.
Hello from Montana. We are Yve Bardwell and Maggie Carr, two friends who love helping people explore the Rocky Mountain Front, which just happens to be our backyard.
We started Dropstone over a decade ago because we love this place! We both grew up in Central Montana and after college found ourselves drawn back to this landscape and community. For years, we cobbled together seasonal jobs, always looking for something more permanent, more sustainable. During a lull between summer and winter jobs, we asked each other, “If you could do anything, what would it be?”
We had the same answer: bringing people into the mountains.
Between the two of us, we’d amassed the skillset. We knew how to run a string of mules, guide people safely into the backcountry, and we had the scientific background to help people understand the wilderness on a deeper level.
We were lucky enough to know a couple in Choteau living our dream, Bill and Polly Cunningham. They started High Country Adventures in 1973, the first backpacking outfit in the country, right here, in Choteau, MT. We asked if we could help out with some of the packing work. This was 2011.
The next year, we led ‘Yoga in the Scapegoat Wilderness’ under their tutelage. Forest fires forced us to think on our feet and change the route but we had a blast. The guests claimed they did too. We made $35 and counted it a success. That winter, Bill and Polly offered us the sale of the business. We scrambled and were able to purchase the outfit in January of 2013.
Over a decade later, we are still offering small-scale, high quality trips through wild places. We’ve added more mules, dogs, and babies to the Dropstone family. But by far, one of the best parts is the friends, family, fellow outfitters, and especially guests who make it a privilege to do this work. It is an adventure that has grown us.
Dropstone has evolved beyond our wildest dreams. It’s become a community of people who have a deep love for wild country and the conservation of it. We hope to share the universal joy of spending time in wild places with you. It truly is a privilege.
Maggie and Yve
So. . . What is a dropstone?
Many people ask us how we came up with our business name. A dropstone is a geologic term for a glacial erratic. A glacial erratic is a large, misplaced rock on the landscape. The Rocky Mountain West was once home to several large glaciers and these glaciers pushed far out onto the plains. As they receded, they left behind debris (dropstones) transported from other locations. Along The Front, you will often see large boulders sitting out in the middle of the prairie; this is a dropstone.