When it comes to the infamous “last obstacle” on the American Ninja Warrior Semifinals courses, it seems like the fans are missing the Invisible Ladder.
The obstacle, which was featured on seasons seven and eight of the show, required that Ninjas haul themselves 30 feet into the air using two rings they see-sawed back and forth to make the ascent. It was... not easy.
But the Elevator Climb came in a close second. That obstacle required the Ninjas to use two handles that they had to brace into a track to pull themselves up the chute. The other three obstacles in the poll, the Cargo Net, Spider Climb, and Spider Trap, all saw the Ninjas using their own body strength and position to climb. It seems like the fans think that’s a bit too straightforward.
When we posed the question of the last obstacle on our website, we received some thoughtful and thought-provoking comments that we wanted to share. Check out these strong cases for both the Elevator Climb and the Invisible Ladder.
Responses below have been edited for length and clarity.
“Elevator Climb is my Favorite. Hardest Obstacle on this list and we should have harder obstacles as we progress throughout this show as I keep saying. That’s why I prefer Elevator Climb.” - Major Encore
“Elevator Climb since it’s the hardest by far. It made finishing a city finals a huge accomplishment. Take notice that in season 11 we had 23 city finals finishers (and that’s with 2 courses unfinished) and 28 finishing stage 1. In season 10 it was 28 city finals finishers and 30 Stage 1 finishers. In season 9 we had 9 city finals finishers to 41 Stage 1 finishers – that’s a huge ratio difference! And it made me look at any city finals finisher as a ninja legend, it was really one step short of a stage 2 clear.
I’m curious how many finishers will we have at today’s level, but having the invisible ladder seems more fitting difficulty-wise if there is a thought of bringing one of them back.” - Aviv Bikel-Sagi
Invisible Ladder... but really the Pipe Slider
“I think there should be something more balanced. I think bringing the (Sasuke Stage 3) Pipe Slider back would be a great idea. Cargo Climb is an automatic F tier because it is impossible to fail literally. Spider Climb and Spider Trap are too easy. Spider obstacles can work with more crazy obstacles like gaps that twist your body, trapeze jumps, and panels on tracks.
People in the comments are saying Elevator Climb is the best. But I think it is too hard and the Invisible Ladder was hard enough and is the best out of the five. I think there is a better final obstacle. An obstacle with something we have not seen in a while which makes it special. The PIPE SLIDER.” - SleathyWarrior4
“The Invisible Ladder definitely tops the list for me. I think this was a great obstacle that was too short-lived on the show. It was hard enough to make finishing a City Finals course quite the feat, but it wasn’t as brutal as the Elevator Climb. It’s also been my favorite to watch out of the five.” - joshuabpritchard
Will we see a new final obstacle this year? Season 13’s Semifinals will take place in Los Angeles in April. But we won’t get to talk about them until the season airs, which begins on Monday, May 31 at 8 pm on NBC.