The Elevator Climb is an obstacle, firstly introduced as the tenth and final obstacle in every city finals course on American Ninja Warrior 9, replacing the Invisible Ladder from the past two American Ninja Warrior seasons.
Competitors must use two levers that only move upward, and pump their arms up 35 feet, similar to the Invisible Ladder. However, unlike the Invisible Ladder, the space between the walls was decreased to 4 feet, which was similar to the Spider Climb (although competitors were still not allowed to use their feet while attempting this obstacle). Also, just like the Spider Climb and Invisible Ladder, the starting platform at the bottom of the walls would move slightly upward when the competitors scaled the obstacle, in order to soften the impact, in case of the competitors failed to complete the obstacle and fell.
Because of the immense amount of upper body usage, in its first season appearance, this obstacle was proven to be much similar to the Invisible Ladder, as the obstacle ended many veterans' run, once they got to it, mainly due to them being spent much time and energy after the previous nine obstacles. It took out competitors like Brent Steffensen, Flip Rodriguez, Nicholas Coolridge, Thomas Stillings, and Jessie Graff. However, four competitors could complete this obstacle in its first city finals course appearance (in Los Angeles), compared to just one competitor completed the Invisible Ladder in its first city finals course appearance (in Venice Beach). In total, 9 competitors could complete the obstacle all season. Overall, the Elevator Climb eliminated exactly half of the competitors who attempted it.
Competitors' Success Rate
- All results based on the NBC broadcast and external information found
- Coincidentally, Flip Rodriguez and Thomas Stillings failed at both the Elevator Climb and Invisible Ladder on their first attempts.
- Similar to the Invisible Ladder during American Ninja Warrior 8's Philadelphia finals (where no competitor could complete it), during American Ninja Warrior 9's Kansas City finals, no competitor could complete the Elevator Climb, as Mitch VeDepo (the only one who attempted the obstacle) failed (making it the second time in American Ninja Warrior history, that no competitor could complete the city finals course).
- Charlie Andrews was the only rookie among the 9 competitors that were able to get past the Elevator Climb on American Ninja Warrior 9.
- Cleveland and Denver were the only 2 out of 6 qualifying cities on American Ninja Warrior 9, where no competitor had failed at the Elevator Climb.
- San Antonio, Daytona Beach, and Denver were the only qualifying cities on American Ninja Warrior 9, where only one competitor could get through the Elevator Climb, as Daniel Gil, Drew Drechsel, and Ian Dory were the only finishers in their respective cities. For Daniel Gil and Drew Drechsel's cases, both of them were the last competitors to run the course and clocked the fastest time during city qualifiers and finals in their respective cities.