Christian Pondella is one of the top adventure sports photographers in the world who is based in Mammoth Lakes, CA, on the spectacular East Side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. One of the elements that makes Christian's work truly distinctive in a competitive field is his ability to get up close, personal, and often way, way out there with his subjects. A senior photographer for Powder Magazine, a San Disk Extreme Team member, and Lululemon Elite Ambassador, he has published work in Sports Illustrated, ESPN Magazine, Outside, Men’s Journal, GQ, and a variety of other publications throughout the world. Join Christian on this epic helicopter adventure and learn his techniques to capture our natural Utah surroundings. Total package add-on: $3582. See below for itinerary.
- 7am - 10am: Heli-Yoga & Meditation - Land on a 10,000 ft. above sea level peak with endless views to be guided through meditation and yoga poses led by our in-house wellness instructor. Your sequence will have elements of scent and non-traditional music like the serene sounds of nature as you find stillness and balance through movements like tree pose and eagle pose. 2 hour exclusive experience that includes the flight time, yoga gear, and guides. 10am - 11:30am: Breakfast at the Yurt - Following yoga and meditation, we will land at the yurt for a breakfast spread - inspired to ground and strengthen after time in the sky.
- 4pm - 6pm: Time on your own for self-exploration or spa treatments - Suggested experience: Between Earth and Sky massage; Demo and cocktail hour on the patio looking through photos from the morning experiences and conversing with Christian. 6pm - 9pm: Dinner in the Private Dining Room - Chef will prepare a fall harvest cuisine as guests present their photographic work from the day’s adventures. Christian will share tips and past relevant work.
- 6:30 - 9am: Sunrise photoshoot at the pergola followed by a hearty, western-inspired breakfastbreakfast next to Alexander Creek. 9am - 1pm: Heli-Hiking - Trek through untouched serene mountains on this curated heli-hiking adventure. 2 Hour experience that includes the flight time, hiking gear, and guides. 1pm: Time on your own for self-exploration or spa treatments - We suggest interacting with our equine friends during a Natural Horsemanship experience or relaxing in the Edge Spa with a ‘Back In The Saddle’ treatment.
- 2:30pm - 5pm: Clay Shooting - Join one of our experienced instructors around the 18 stand sporting clay course. Guests are presented with different target scenarios along the way that simulate live quarry. Finish with a shooting game or a flurry at the 5 Stand Shooting Pavilion. 5pm - 7:30pm: Blind whiskey tasting at the Yurt - As you return after a day of shooting, you will be handed a palate cleanser in preparation for the tasting. You will then gather around the table as the host instructs you on the blind tasting, brief instructions and the assortment of snacks to pair with. He thereafter shares an introduction on the history of whiskey. 7:30pm - 9pm: Dinner at Yurt + Late Night Sky Photoshoot - Chef starts a fire on the patio, cooking select offerings for the evening’s dinner. We will use fresh, local ingredients - incorporating fauna from the adventures of the day. Afterwards, explore the night sky and learn how to capture the stars.
- Heli-Fly Fishing - ½ Day experience that includes flight time, all fly fishing gear, guides, and lunch served on the water. Our experienced fly fishing guides take you fly fishing on all types of waters - from private and local waters to our stunning Green River. Christian will photograph you in action. 2:30: Time for self-exlporation or relaxation. We suggest indulging in a Horse Thief cocktail on the YUTA patio.
- 4pm - 10pm: Cowboy & Cowgirl Evening - Experience a watercolor sunset, winding down just before the sun sets over the mountains. With a cowboy hat in hand, you will be taken to Gracies Farm where an equine team member will greet you. Pack up your canteen and settle into the saddle for the ride ahead, trekking on a scenic Western ride up to the Tavern, watching as the skies watercolor palette transforms. As you arrive at the Tavern, you’ll feel as though you’ve transported to a Western film from the 1800’s - You’ll tie your horse up, and make your way towards the Tavern for a sunset beverage - admiring the mountainscape - as Chef prepares a traditional campfire dinner in a dutch oven. After dinner Christian will be hosting a sunset photoshoot followed by a fireside chat where he will share his stories and adventures over the fire. You’ll be able to sample our custom High West Whiskey cocktails as you learn about his story to become one of the greatest adventure photographers.