Earlier today, the freshmen class at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis performed the annual ritual that ends their time as plebes. Every spring, the class rushes to “climb Mount Herndon,” meaning to scale the 21-foot-tall Herndon Monument, which is covered in grease for the occasion. The goal is to remove a "dixie cup" plebe hat on top and replace it with an upperclassmen’s hat.
The plebes first try to remove as much grease as possible, becoming covered with grease themselves. That makes climbing the monument, or each other, quite difficult. Today’s climb took one hour, 12 minutes, and 30 seconds. The cap at the top was removed with a thrown projectile, but it still had to be replaced. Chris Bianchi, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, finally placed a hat at the top, ending the grueling mission.