The Invisible Ladder is an obstacle, firstly introduced on American Ninja Warrior 7, as the tenth and final obstacle in every city finals course, replacing the Spider Climb from the past two American Ninja Warrior seasons.
It consisted of two hanging rings in a chute, which was 30 feet in height. Competitors must grab one ring in each hand, and pumped their arms upward as if they were climbing a ladder. Since the rings could only move upward, doing this would raise the competitors toward the top of the chute, where they could hit the buzzer. Competitors were not allowed to use their feet while attempting this obstacle (to compensate that rule, the space between the walls was made wider than the Spider Climb). Also, just like the Spider Climb, 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 more brutal than the Spider Climb, 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 David Campbell, Ryan Stratis, Flip Rodriguez, Drew Drechsel, Jamie Rahn, Kevin Bull, and Neil Craver. Only 11 competitors were able to get up to the top and consequently, finished the city finals course on American Ninja Warrior 7.
Other Season Appearances
American Ninja Warrior 8
The Invisible Ladder made its second appearance on American Ninja Warrior 8, once again as the tenth and final obstacle in every city finals course. Josh Levin was the only competitor during Los Angeles finals to complete it. However, during Atlanta finals, four competitors could get past the obstacle (including Drew Drechsel, who failed on this obstacle during American Ninja Warrior 7's Orlando finals). Another four competitors were able to get up the Invisible Ladder during Indianapolis finals, and two more during Oklahoma City finals, totaling 11 competitors like the previous season, but no one was able to complete it during Philadelphia finals (making it the first time in American Ninja Warrior history that no competitor could complete the city finals course).
In total, only four competitors failed on this obstacle on American Ninja Warrior 8: Chris Wilczewski, Joe Moravsky (who completed this obstacle during American Ninja Warrior 7's Pittsburgh finals), Ethan Swanson, and Thomas Stillings.
Ninja Warrior UK
The Invisible Ladder appeared as the ninth and final obstacle during the finals' Stage 1 on Ninja Warrior UK 2, replacing the Chimney Climb from the previous season, with the space between the walls was kept the same as the Chimney Climb (however, just like on American Ninja Warrior, competitors were not allowed to use their feet while attempting the obstacle).
Three competitors (Timothy Shieff, Toby Segar, and Owen McKenzie) reached the obstacle, and despite having difficulties while attempting the obstacle, all of them could complete it and moved on to Stage 2. However, the obstacle was replaced again by the Chimney Climb on the next season.
Australian Ninja Warrior
On Australian Ninja Warrior 3, the Invisible Ladder appeared as the ninth and final obstacle during the semifinals.
In total, 18 competitors attempted the obstacle and only 6 of them failed to complete it (4 competitors in Semifinal 2 and 2 competitors in Semifinal 3). The 12 competitors who could complete the obstacle included Ashlin Herbert, Mike Snow, Josh O'Sullivan, Bryson Klein, and Olivia Vivian (who became the first female competitor to complete the semifinal course on Australian Ninja Warrior).
Then, on Australian Ninja Warrior 4, the Invisible Ladder returned as the ninth and final obstacle during the semifinals. This time, all 17 competitors who reached the obstacle were able to complete it (twelve competitors in Semifinal 1 and five competitors in Semifinal 2).
Ninja Warrior Poland
On Ninja Warrior Poland 5, the Invisible Ladder appeared as the fifth and final obstacle during the semi-finals and the ninth and final obstacle in the Stage One. Before starting, the rings were suspended from two pegs on opposite sides. In this season, only three competitors failed on this obstacle.
- Out of the 11 competitors that were able to get past the Invisible Ladder on American Ninja Warrior 7, two of them were rookies (Brendan Couvreux and Nicholas Coolridge). While on American Ninja Warrior 8, Josh Levin and Grant Clinton were the rookies to get past the Invisible Ladder.
- Kansas City and Houston were the only 2 out of 6 qualifying cities on American Ninja Warrior 7, where no competitor had failed at the Invisible Ladder. While on American Ninja Warrior 8, Los Angeles and Atlanta were the only 2 out of 5 qualifying cities, where no competitor had failed at the Invisible Ladder.
- Venice Beach and San Pedro (Military) were the only qualifying cities on American Ninja Warrior 7, where only one competitor could get through the Invisible Ladder (Nicholas Coolridge and Dustin McKinney were the only finishers in their respective cities). While on American Ninja Warrior 8, Los Angeles was the only qualifying city where only one competitor (Josh Levin) could get through the Invisible Ladder.
Competitors' Success Rate
- All results based on the NBC broadcast and external information found