The verbs climb and ascend both imply moving upward. Climb is more likely to be used of a person using their feet to move up (climb stairs), or their hands and feet (climb up a ladder). This verb suggests effort, even when used figuratively to talk about gaining prominence or fortune (to climb to the highest office in the land). The verb ascend usually suggests a gradual or stately movement, with or without effort. This lofty verb really stands apart in discussion of rising to a higher point, rank, or degree, or proceeding from an inferior to a superior degree or level, as in the case of a person who ascends to power.