The Herndon Climb is the culmination of plebe year (freshman) at the United States Naval Academy. A “dixie cup” plebe hat is affixed to the top of the 21′ granite Herndon Monument. The obelisk is then greased with lard by upperclassmen. The plebes work as a group to remove the “dixie cup” and replace it with a proper Midshipman’s “cover.”
Legend has it that the plebe who makes the switch will be the first of that class to become an admiral in the US Navy.
The fastest time for the climb was the class of 1972 on an ungreased monument of 1:30. The longest time was the class of 1998 with a time of 4:05.17.
This year’s climb saw the newly minted Fourth Class Midshipman, Andrew Craig from Tulsa, Oklahoma reach the top and make the switch for the class of 2015. The time was 2:10.13.