In this paper, we demonstrate that vertically vibrating a plate in a cornstarch suspension causes the suspension to vigorously ratchet up the plate. We show that this is a necessary consequence of the fact that cornstarch in water is shear thickening: when the plate moves up it opposes gravity and so the fluid stiffens; when it moves down it works with gravity and so the fluid flows. This produces asymmetric ratcheting that opposes gravity. We find several unusual states that result in this simple experimental system, and we reproduce the essential effect in two different numerical simulations. (C) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.