Ninja™ Foot Ascender Used During Set up of British Wildlife TV Documentary

Business Segment:

Rope Access


Amazon rainforest, Peru

Project Description:

Figure Nine, a rope access and safety at height company based in Bristol UK, recently worked on an exciting project in Peru helping with pre-production for a famous British wildlife TV documentary.

Its role was to install platforms high in the 30-meter (98’) tall trees of the Amazon rainforest so that filming could be captured from multiple camera angles.

The team was due to be on location for 15 days during the rainy season and would cover approximately 400 meters (1312') as a result of climbing the trees repeatedly.

To make their work easier, and to help them preserve energy, Figure Nine needed a reliable device to assist them when climbing.

Striving to improve operational capabilities with innovative techniques and solutions, the company turned to Harken Industrial™ for assistance.

Solution/Equipment Used:

After discussing the nature of the project with Figure Nine, Harken Industrial recommended the Ninja™ Foot Ascender.

Unlike other foot ascenders, The Harken Industrial Ninja™ features a dual cam system (based on Harken’s marine Cam-Matic® ball bearing cleats) that applies pressure to both sides of the rope simultaneously.

This provides more thorough holding power than competitive designs that compress the rope against a flat surface from one side and must rely on aggressive teeth on their single cams. These aggressive teeth create additional drag on the line as they disengage, which can also damage the rope cover.

The Ninja’s cams use transverse ribs instead of teeth so they release with less friction and prevent accidental kick-outs. It’s also the first foot ascender that can work on either foot, and has fully adjustable straps.

Figure Nine chose to utilize this lightweight, versatile and durable device to help them climb efficiently and preserve energy while working in the rainforest.

It was imperative that the platforms were installed in time for filming to start in order to prevent delays. The Ninja helped them to achieve this.


The Ninja is an incredibly useful piece of equipment, not just for rope access professionals, but also for those working in the arborist and recue industries.

A single device can be used on either foot, so the user doesn’t have to purchase multiple products for the same use, as you would for other designs in the market.

Without the Ninja, Figure Nine would have taken longer to finish their work which may have impacted the next phase of its tight filming schedule.

Client Testimonial:

“The Ninja is a great piece of kit. It’s highly effective and makes for super slick ascents when climbing trees in the rainforest. We used the device during the rainy season and I was initially concerned about how it would operate in the humid, wet and muddy conditions, but it didn’t disappoint; performance was not affected in any way.”

“After fitting it to my boot, the ascender remained in tension throughout the day, even when we were walking through the forest. Without the Ninja our job would have been harder and required more of our time and resources. I’ll be using it in future on similar projects for sure!”

Ollie Laker, Owner of Figure Nine

Take a look at the image gallery below to view photos of the Ninja being used for this project in the Amazon rainforest.

This Harken Industrial product is featured in the case study above:

  • Ninja foot ascender (part number: IN400)