Our Story

I stumbled across St. George Utah in 1992, during a prolonged climbing road trip after spending 12 years in the US Navy. 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.

I began Paragon Adventures in 1994 with the idea that I would use the instructional skills developed during an assignment as a Navy survival instructor, to teach basic rock climbing courses to locals and visitors to the region. Yet 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 guiding belief is 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 25 years we have been lucky to attract some of the most highly respected and talented staff members in the industry.

Todd Goss
AKA: The old guy, The Mean Todd
Founder-Owner-Head Guide- Local Misanthrope

Todd has been sulking around southwest Utah since the early 90’s and is driven by route development and preservation of the climbing opportunities that already exist. 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.

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 is completely offset by her difficulty in navigation or finding the correct trail.

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.

Tristen Osness
AKA: Go Girl
Assistant guide

Tristen is a born and bread local who has a deep knowledge of the region and many of its less traveled corners. His enthusiasm for the guiding profession is partially fueled by participation in his family’s roofing business during hot desert summer days.

Erik Anderson
AKA: El Presidente
Lead Guide:

Erik has been with Paragon Adventures longer than any other guide and posses an in depth knowledge of both our programs and the area at large. Erik spends his free time exploring the region and riding his mountain bike with his chihuahua Loki hot on his trail. He will never live it down when Loki eventually passes him.

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.

Kinsley Ward
AKA: Whatshername
Office Manager

Kinsley runs the nerve center of Paragon Adventures, and without her skills, dedication and attention to detail, we would probably miss 50% of the phone calls, emails, and program reservations. She literally keeps us in business.