The Tsuna Nobori (綱登り) is an obstacle, firstly introduced as the first (and only) obstacle in the Final Stage of SASUKE 1. Due to its placement, it is essentially the final obstacle of the entire SASUKE course. The basic concept is that competitors must climb up a rope to reach the button at the top of the tower before the time ran out, in order to achieve kanzenseiha. Throughout the numerous tournaments the obstacle has been in SASUKE, it has gone through six versions.
Version 1 (SASUKE 1-4)
The first version of the obstacle was 15 meters in height and also served as the only obstacle in the Final Stage. Competitors were given 30 seconds to complete the obstacle and hit the button at the top of the tower. Also, competitors were to start the obstacle in a seated position.
Although the function was very simple, in the first 3 tournaments that it were presented, the obstacle was proven to be difficult, as no competitor was able to complete the obstacle (with the closest one being Yamada Katsumi in SASUKE 3). However, in SASUKE 4, Akiyama Kazuhiko (who was also the only competitor in that tournament to reach the Final Stage) was able to beat it with 6.0 seconds left, achieving the first ever kanzenseiha in SASUKE and his first and only kanzenseiha during his overall appearances in SASUKE.
Version 2 (SASUKE 5-17, 32-38)
After Akiyama Kazuhiko's kanzenseiha in SASUKE 4, the obstacle was modified by lowering its height to just 10 meters. However, one new obstacle was introduced to the Final Stage below the Tsuna Nobori, the 12-meter Spider Climb, with a 0.5-meter gap between the two obstacles. Also, the time limit was kept the same at 30 seconds.
With the addition of the Spider Climb and keeping the time limit at 30 seconds, this version of the Tsuna Nobori became much more difficult than its predecessor, as numerous competitors were not able to complete the obstacle (with the closest one being Nagano Makoto in SASUKE 12). However, in SASUKE 17, Nagano Makoto was finally able to beat it (after 3 fail attempts from SASUKE 11 to SASUKE 13) and the whole Final Stage with 2.56 seconds left, achieving the second ever kanzenseiha in SASUKE and his first and only kanzenseiha during his overall appearances in SASUKE.
This version of the Tsuna Nobori would later return in SASUKE 32. This time, the obstacle was preceded by the 8-meter Spider Climb and 7-meter Salmon Ladder. However, due to the difficulty of the Third Stage (particularly at the Ultra Crazy Cliffhanger and Vertical Limit), the Tsuna Nobori (along with the new Final Stage) was not attempted until SASUKE 35, with a 45-second time limit to complete the stage.
From there, Morimoto Yūsuke came close to achieving kanzenseiha as he failed the obstacle with just a few meters remaining in SASUKE 35 and SASUKE 36. But in SASUKE 38, he cleared this version with 2.52 seconds remaining, gaining the sixth kanzenseiha in SASUKE and his second kanzenseiha, a feat only achieved by Urushihara Yuuji nine years prior.
Version 3 [G-Rope] (SASUKE 18-24)
After Nagano Makoto's kanzenseiha in SASUKE 17, from SASUKE 18 to SASUKE 24, the Tsuna Nobori was renamed as the G-Rope (Gロープ) , with the Spider Climb being replaced with the 13-meter Heavenly Ladder. However, due to the difficulty of the Third Stage (particularly at the Shin-Cliffhanger), the Tsuna Nobori (along with the new Final Stage) was not attempted until SASUKE 22, with the 45-second time limit to complete the stage. However, the time limit was lowered to 40 seconds in SASUKE 23 and SASUKE 24.
While seeming to function the same as before, with the only aesthetic change being a darker coloration, competitors notably had a much harder time climbing up the rope than in previous and future versions of the obstacles, climbing at a relatively slow pace. This was suspected to be due to the original rope being changed to a bungee rope, making it much harder to climb, or/along with the rope being thickened to make it harder to grip, hence the name change and darker appearance.
In SASUKE 24, the obstacle was finally beaten by Urushihara Yuuji with 3.57 seconds left (after his previous fail attempt in SASUKE 22), achieving the third ever kanzenseiha in SASUKE and his first kanzenseiha during his overall appearances in SASUKE.
Version 4 [Ultimate Rope Climb] (SASUKE 25-27)
After Urushihara Yuuji's first kanzenseiha in SASUKE 24, the Tsuna Nobori returned to its first version (as the only obstacle of the Final Stage), and was renamed as the Ultimate Rope Climb (アルティメットロープクライム). However, the obstacle's height was increased to 20 meters, with the time limit of 40 seconds. Unlike the first version, competitors could start the obstacle in a standing position.
Due to the difficulty of the Third Stage (particularly at the Ultimate Cliffhanger), this version of the Tsuna Nobori (along with the new Final Stage) was not attempted until SASUKE 27, with Urushihara Yuuji successfully completing the obstacle in that tournament with 6.71 seconds left, achieving the fourth ever kanzenseiha in SASUKE and his second kanzenseiha during his overall appearances in SASUKE.
Version 5 (SASUKE 28)
After Urushihara Yuuji's second kanzenseiha in SASUKE 27, the Tsuna Nobori's height was increased to 23 meters. However, the obstacle was not attempted, making it the only version of the Tsuna Nobori (along with the Final Stage) that never been attempted in SASUKE.
Version 6 (SASUKE 29-31)
In SASUKE 29, the Tsuna Nobori returned to the one used from SASUKE 5 to SASUKE 17 (as the obstacle was preceded by the Spider Climb). However, both the Spider Climb and Tsuna Nobori had the same height (at 12 meters each), with no gap between the obstacles. In addition, the time limit was lowered to 30 seconds.
This version of the Tsuna Nobori (along with the new Final Stage) was not attempted until SASUKE 30. One tournament later, Morimoto Yūsuke successfully completed the obstacle with 2.59 seconds left, achieving the fifth ever kanzenseiha in SASUKE and his first kanzenseiha during his overall appearances in SASUKE.
Due to the course reboot of KUNOICHI, the Tsuna Nobori debuted as the second and final obstacle of the Final Stage in KUNOICHI 9, renamed from Tenkunawa from KUNOICHI 7. This obstacle was preceded by the Sayu Hashigo in KUNOICHI 9 and was lowered to 7 meters due to the height of the hall. The Sayu Hashigo was replaced by the debuting Spider Climb in KUNOICHI 10, making it similar to the version used in the Final Stage of SASUKE from SASUKE 5 to SASUKE 17 and SASUKE 29 to SASUKE 31.
The Tsuna Nobori (called as the Rope Climb) would become notable on all parts of the world, due to its appearance in the Final Stage/Mount Midoriyama tower for all of SASUKE/Ninja Warrior's international formats (e.g. Ninja Warrior UK and Australian Ninja Warrior), with most of them having the obstacle as the first and only obstacle of the Final Stage/Mount Midoriyama.
American Ninja Warrior
On the first three seasons of American Ninja Warrior, there would be American representatives that were sent to Japan to compete in SASUKE, meaning that the Final Stage at that time was the same as in SASUKE.
Starting on American Ninja Warrior 4, the national finals (SASUKE's 4-stage course, referred as Mount Midoriyama) would eventually be built in the U.S. soil (specifically Las Vegas). On American Ninja Warrior 4, the national finals' Stage Four consisted of a Tsuna Nobori (referred to as Rope Climb), which was 23.5 meters (77 feet) in high. However, due to the difficulty of Stage Three (particularly at the Hang Climb and Flying Bar), this version of the Rope Climb (along with the Stage Four) was not attempted during the regular season until American Ninja Warrior 7 (it was attempted for the first time during USA vs. The World by Travis Rosen from Team USA and Sean McColl from Team Europe, with Sean McColl reaching the top of the tower faster than Travis Rosen, giving his team a victory on that tournament).
On that season, the rope was lowered to 22.9m (75 feet) and competitors were given 30 seconds to complete the obstacle. Geoff Britten and Isaac Caldiero became the first two competitors to attempt it for the very first time during American Ninja Warrior's regular season, and both of them completed it within the time limit (30 seconds), achieving the show's first and second total victories.
On American Ninja Warrior 8, there would be no changes whatsoever in the stage. However, on American Ninja Warrior 9, the Rope Climb's height was increased to 24.4m (80 feet). This version of the Rope Climb was attempted for the first time during USA vs. The World 4 by Sean Bryan from Team USA and Sean McColl from Team Europe, with Sean McColl reaching the top of the tower faster than Sean Bryan, giving his team a victory on that tournament.
On American Ninja Warrior 11, the rope's height was returned back to 75 feet. This time, Drew Drechsel and Daniel Gil both reached Stage Four, but only Drechsel could complete it within the 30-second time limit, achieving the third total victory in American Ninja Warrior history, while Gil was timed out.
On American Ninja Warrior 13, Kaden Lebsack would earned his chance to attempt Stage Four, with the same height of 75 feet. Unfortunately, due to lacking the skills needed to climb faster, he timed out.
Ninja Warrior UK
On Ninja Warrior UK 4 and Ninja Warrior UK 5, a smaller version of Mount Midoriyama tower (called as the Rope Climb, with 7 meters in height) appeared as the ninth and final obstacle during the-semifinals, replacing the Chimney Climb.
For the Stage 4 (Mount Midoriyama) tower, the Rope Climb was 22 meters in height. During the first four seasons of Ninja Warrior UK, the time limit to complete the stage was unknown, as no competitor was able to reach it. However, on Ninja Warrior UK 5, with Tim Champion completed Stage 3, the time limit was finally revealed at 45 seconds. On his first ever attempt at Stage 4 and the first ever Stage 4 attempt on Ninja Warrior UK, Tim was able to complete the stage with 1 second left, making him the first ever competitor in Ninja Warrior UK history to achieve total victory and earning him the title of the first "Ninja Warrior UK".
Australian Ninja Warrior
The smaller version of Rope Climb that appeared on Ninja Warrior UK 4 and Ninja Warrior UK 5 arrived to Australian Ninja Warrior 5 with the name Chimney Rope Climb. It appeared as the ninth and final obstacle during the semifinals.
For the Stage Four (Mount Midoriyama) tower, similar to Ninja Warrior UK, the Rope Climb became the only obstacle of Stage Four (Mount Midoriyama) on Australian Ninja Warrior. The Rope Climb was 22 meters in height that competitors must climb it in only 30 seconds. On Australian Ninja Warrior 4, the height of the Rope Climb was decreased to 20 meters.
Also on that season, with Zak Stolz, Charlie Robbins, and Ben Polson completed Stage Three, the Rope Climb has finally been attempted for the first time. All three competitors completed it within the time limit (30 seconds), achieving the show's first, second, and third total victories.
After the total victories on Australian Ninja Warrior 4, the Stage Four tower was redesigned to make it identical to the Final Stage tower used from SASUKE 32 to SASUKE 38, featuring three obstacles: Chimney Sweep, Salmon Ladder, and Rope Climb. The Rope Climb itself was reduced in height to just seven meters, the same height for the other two obstacles.
Ninja Warrior Germany
Similar to Ninja Warrior UK, the Rope Climb became the only obstacle of Stage Four (Mount Midoriyama) on Ninja Warrior Germany. The Rope Climb was 20 meters in height that competitors must climb it in 25 seconds.
Three seasons later on Ninja Warrior Germany 6, Moritz Hans and Rene Casselly became the first and second competitors in Ninja Warrior Germany to complete the obstacle and the stage within the allotted time limit. Hans cleared the stage with 1.08 seconds remaining while Casselly cleared the stage with 2.99 seconds remaining.
Ninja Warrior Poland
In Ninja Warrior Poland the Góra Midoriyama (Ninja Warrior Poland's official name for the Mount Midoriyama) appeared in the final as the only obstacle in Stage Three. Throughout all seasons of Ninja Warrior Poland, the length of the rope was 21 meters, although for the first 3 seasons it was reported in the press materials that it was 23 meters long, and in fact the structure itself measured that much. Some websites also showed that in Ninja Warrior Poland 2, the rope was 23 meters long and the structure itself was 28 meters tall.
The time limit for negotiating this obstacle was 45 seconds until the third season, and from the fourth season this limit was lowered to 25 seconds. Viewers learned about the reduction of the time limit only when Igor Fojcik was the first in Poland to complete stage 2 and stood in front of the rope. After the final, the reduction of the time limit caused a lot of controversy.
SASUKE Ninja Warrior Indonesia
On both two seasons of SASUKE Ninja Warrior Indonesia, the Rope Climb was used as the second and final obstacle in Mount Midoriyama Stage, with the rope being 12.5 meters in height and placed after the 12.5-meter Spider Climb.
On SASUKE Vietnam, the Rope Climb was used as the second and final obstacle in Stage 4, which was placed after the Spider Climb.
From SASUKE Vietnam 1 to SASUKE Vietnam 3, the Rope Climb was 12 meters in height and placed after the 12-meter Spider Climb (making it similar to the Final Stage used from SASUKE 28 to SASUKE 31), and with the time limit being 30 seconds. This version of the Rope Climb (along with Stage 4) was attempted by 12 competitors, all on SASUKE Vietnam 2, and only 3 competitors (David Campbell, Nguyễn Phước Huynh, and Lê Văn Thực) completed the obstacle in time and achieved total victories.
Starting from SASUKE Vietnam 4, the rope's height was increased to 17 meters, while the Spider Climb's height was decreased to 7 meters, and the time limit was raised to 35 seconds. However, the time limit was reverted back to 30 seconds on SASUKE Vietnam 5.
Competitors' Success Rate
- All results based on the TBS broadcast and external information found