The annual climbing of the Herndon Monument happened this week at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
Hundreds of hot, sweaty plebes lathered in oil worked together to scale the 21-foot obelisk whilst being sprayed by a giant hose.
Their mission? To replace the underclassman’s “dixie cup” hat at the top of the slippery wet stone monument.
The Capital Gazette reports:
For decades, the Herndon Climb has marked the end of plebe year for midshipmen. It is the culmination of everything they’ve learned about teamwork. They must form a human pyramid to scrape away at the vegetable shortening covering the monument, remove a ‘Dixie cup’ hat from the top of the structure and replace it with an upperclassman’s hat.
This year, it took the plebes more than two hours to successfully complete their mission.
The first recorded Herndon Monument Climb happened in 1962 and took 12 minutes. The fastest recorded time was by the class of 1972, who completed the task in 1 minute and 30 seconds.
Scroll down for pics from this year’s climb.
Naval Academy freshmen conquer the greased 21-foot-tall Herndon Monument at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. The monument is covered in 50 pounds of vegetable shortening. It is an exercise in teamwork and perseverance for hundreds of students and marks the conclusion of their plebe year. The plebes must remove an underclassman's "Dixie cup" hat from the top of the monument and replace it with an upperclassman's hat. The slippery task took them over two hours to complete. ? ? Read the full story at washingtonpost.com? ? Photographs by Michael Robinson Chavez (@mrobinsonchavez)/@washingtonpost #navalacademy #plebes #annapolis
Freshmen en la Academia Naval de EE. UU. intentan escalar Herndon, una tradición anual de escalar un obelisco cubierto de manteca de cerdo, que representa la transición de la clase de plebe a intermediarios y simbólicamente termina su primer año en la academia. #navy #navalacademy #herndonclimb #tradition #annapolis
This year’s #herndon was capped/nearly capped several times before the man in charge would call it good. So this post is for you, noncappers. Maybe one of you will become admiral and then they can change the tradition from “placed by hand” to “just toss it up there and call it good so we don’t have to stand here all day” #gonavy #navy #navalacademy #midshipmen #midshipman #annapolis #traditions #commweek2018 ??
Still in the mood for more? Watch the entire two and a half hour climb below.