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South Valley Riverton Journal

Landers Gaydosh competes in ice climbing in Finland, brings home gold

Mar 30, 2023 04:44PM ● By Morgan Olsen

Landers Gaydosh gets suited up for his ice climbing competition in Finland (Photo credit Robert Hendriksen)

An Oquirrh Hills Middle School student, Landers Gaydosh, is the reigning champion of an international ice climbing competition that took place in Finland earlier this year. He won gold medals in the speed and combined events, and a silver medal in rope climbing.

Although he is talented in ice climbing, rock climbing was the sport Landers was initially passionate about. He started rock climbing at age 4 and his hard work, natural talent and dedication led him to a national championship in both rock climbing and speed ice climbing in his 13 years of life thus far.

“Landers was a rock climber before anything else,” said Landers’ mother April Gaydosh. “He’s been rock climbing since he was 4 and has always done competitions in that and even won a national climbing championship.”

Landers’ passion for rock climbing in the spring and summer months quickly translated into a passion for ice climbing during the winter months. 

“He tried ice climbing a year and a half ago after a coach reached out and said they were looking for rock climbers who want to try ice climbing,” April said. “Landers took to it really quickly and liked the adventure part of it. He competed in Switzerland last year and in Finland this year, winning gold in both competitions.”

When he isn’t competing, Landers spends three or four days per week in the gym, putting in lots of hard work and dedication to improving in the sport.

“I practice once per week at the Scratchpad, which is my gym,” Landers said. “Then I practice three times a week at my rock climbing gym. Ice climbing season is normally in the winter and I practice pretty hard through those winter months of November, December and January. Towards spring and summer months I take three or four months off of ice climbing and I mainly focus on rock climbing, which is when I do my rock climbing competitions.”

The 2023 ice climbing competition in Finland was the second competition Landers has competed in. His first was in Switzerland last year.

“The competition last year was really special because he’d only been climbing on ice for a few months and we went with no expectations—he basically just didn’t want to take last,” April said. “He was nervous and put pressure on himself, but he ended up unexpectedly winning. It was really emotional and exciting.”

April says her favorite part of supporting Landers in his competitions is seeing the passion he has and the success that comes with it.

“It’s been really fun watching him,” April said. “It’s always fun to watch your kids be passionate about something and love what they’re doing. Then, when he’s successful at it, it makes it really fun.”

While the pressure can be intense, Landers says he finds strength in remembering to keep himself healthy mentally.

“I think the mental part of it is huge for me,” Landers said. “Knowing that, even if you lose, there’s always going to be another competition or something to improve on. It helps a lot during tough times. The mental part is the most important for me.”