Our Story.

I was sucked into St. George Utah in 1992, during a year-long climbing road trip after serving in the US Navy for the previous 12 years . Beyond the natural beauty of the region, and the compelling nature of the desert that initially drew me to the area,  it was the small but friendly climbing community and the wealth of undeveloped rock that kept me here.

Our Beginnings

I began Paragon Adventures in 1994 with the idea that I would use the instructional skills developed as a Navy survival instructor, to teach basic rock climbing courses to locals and visitors to the region. But I eventually realized we were providing as much inspiration as instruction, and it dawned on me that what we were really doing was providing various contexts in which each of our guests discovered that they were capable of much more than they suspected.

Our Philosophy

It is our guiding belief that each of us have capabilities that modern civilization leaves untapped, and each of us harbor an undiscovered well of stamina, strength, and mental toughness that lies deep with ourselves. Our adventure programs are designed to allow each of our guests to challenge themselves to the point that they tap into this source of strength. And while most of our guests never realize that they have had a seminal experience, they nevertheless walk out our front door with a deep sense of accomplishment and hopefully an enhanced self image,… or at a minimum just having had a blast doing something really awesome in a beautiful environment.

Our Staff:

We have the luxury of being incredibly picky when it comes to our staff members.  Each of our guides have extensive experience in both the disiplines that we specialize in as well as deep knowledge of the region, its history, geology, plants, animals, and prehistoric inhabitants.  Over the past 29 years we have been lucky to attract some of the most highly respected and talented staff members in the industry.  All of our guide staff are required to hold first aid and cpr certifications as well as pass random drug testing administered through out the season.

Todd Goss
AKA: The old guy
Founder-Owner-Head Guide

Todd has been a driving force in the development of the vastness of the rock climbing opportunities of southwest Utah since the early 90’s. With nearly 600 first ascents, and 3 guidebook editions to his credit,  Todd has been deeply involved in the preservation of climbing opportunities through representing the interests of the local climbing commumity with various land management agencies.  Guests who have the opportunity to adventure with Todd inevitably get exposed to his sardonic and somewhat profane sense of humor, whether it is appropriate or not.

Supe Lillywhite
AKA: Supe
Head Guide / Heir apparent

Supe is the guide that just keeps coming back to Paragon for more punishment. Or pleasure. We’re not sure. A St George local, Supe has worked for Paragon on and off since 2007 and we’ll likely be stuck with him forever. He’s a decent rock climber, mountain biker, canyoneer and adventure guide. And he doesn’t swear as much as Todd so there’s that.

Marlene Fahnestock
AKA: Wrong way Fahnestock
Lead Guide

Marlene brings a softer touch to the normally hard and calloused profession of an outdoor guide, yet can throw an 80lb. bag of rope on her shoulder and hike uphill when necessary. With a masters degree in psychology, Marlenes level of understanding of the emotional states of our guests and what they are experiencing often allow a deeper understanding of their experience

Hyrum Collier
AKA: Sweet Potato
Lead Guide

With an infectious good humor, cheerful attitude and raw athletic talent, Hyrum seems to have been born to be an outdoor adventure guide. Hyrum has both a deep appreciation for the desert enviornment and a touch of spaciness that makes it fun to see where he is going to leave his backpack behind next.

Tommy Walker
AKA: Chuckles
Lead Guide
It is hard to imagine that Tommy is ever in a bad mood. As a lifelong local, Tommy’s knowledge of the area is as impressive as his cheerfulness, and his abilities, judgement, and ever expanding skill sets make him a great guide to hang out with for a day or 3.

Stacie Callahan
AKA: Adventure Mom
Pound for pound Stacie is one of the strongest guides we have ever had. Combined with her extensive experience in canyoneering, caving, hiking and Grand Canyon adventuring she brings a wide range of outdoor expertise on every program.

Kristin Draper
Kristin is another of our “Adventure Parents” who have a wealth of life experiences, a solid adventure resume, wide ranging skill sets, along with a sense of wonder and gratitude at where we get to live and what we get to so everyday

Scott DeMarco
Not your typical stay at home dad, Scott seems to manage to get out into the wilds of Utah on a consistent basis, and has garnered a diverse and well rounded adventure background that includes climbing, canyons, mountain biking and poking around the lesser traveled corners of the region. He also features a discernable Chicago accent.

Fio Antognini- In Memorimum
AKA: The Fio
Guide, Mentor, Guru, and Friend

Fio will always be a part of this organization. His words, advise, humor and booming laugh will forever ring in the hearts of every guide and guest who had the privilege of being in his presence. Though he no longer hikes by our sides (pointing out the trail to me) he is never far from our thoughts and memories.