This mod adds two ladder types that are easy to place and remove, even across open space.
In the picture below on the left is a rope ladder. When activated, it removes additional role ladders from your inventory to build downwards until it either encounters a non-air block or you run out of ladders. Can only be removed from the top-most block. Right, Extending Ladder, when activated it removes additional extending ladders from your inventory to build upwards until it either encounters a non-air block, a solid block it can rest on, or you run out of ladders. Can only be removed from the top-most or bottom-most block. All used blocks will be returned when broken.
The ladders render correctly from both sides (unlike the vanilla ladder which expects that there’s a solid block behind it). (The "pulley rope" for the extending ladder has altered since the screenshots to be significantly less wavy.)