ADJ

rickety
wooden
loft, rope

VERB + LADDER

ascend, clamber up, climb (up), mount, go up
He went up the ladder onto the deck
come down, descend, go down
put up
We put up the ladder and went to get the paint
fall off, step off

PREP

on/up a/the ~
She was up a ladder mending the roof
down a/the ~
I was standing lower down the ladder
~ to
the ladder to the gallery

PHRASES

the bottom/foot of a ladder, a rung/step of a ladder
Several of the ladder's rungs were broken
the top of a ladder

ADJ

evolutionary, social
the people at the top of the social ladder
career, corporate, housing, promotion

VERB + LADDER

ascend, climb, move up
She was anxious to move up the promotion ladder
get onto

PREP

higher up the ~
creatures higher up the evolutionary ladder
lower down the ~
~ of
the ladder of fame
~ to
helping her on the ladder to success

PHRASES

get/have one foot on the ladder
He finally managed to get one foot on the career ladder
a rung/step on the ladder
the old problem of how to get onto the first step on the ladder