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2012 Naval Academy Herndon Monument Climb: Andrew Craig Makes Greased Ascent (PHOTOS)

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Annapolis Naval Academy freshmen make a human wall to climb the Herndon Monument which is covered with lard, on May 22, 2012 in Annapolis, Maryland. Each year the freshman class, known as 'Plebes,' climb the monument at the Naval Academy to retrieve the Plebian Sailor's hat and replace it with an officer's hat. The tradition is one step in marking the end of wearing freshman headgear and moving up to headgear more like a U.S. Naval officer. | Getty Images

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Students who are closing out their first year at the U.S. Naval Academy have completed the traditional climb up the Herndon Monument.

The climb is made extra challenging by greasing the 21-foot monument with about 50 pounds of lard.

It took 19-year-old Andrew Craig, of Tulsa, Okla., a little over two hours and 10 minutes on Tuesday to replace a first-year student's "Dixie cup" hat with a midshipman's cover on Tuesday.

Students began the yearly event in 1940. They added the symbolic placement of the cap on its tip seven years later. In 1949, upperclassmen began smearing as much as 200 pounds of lard on the monument to make it more difficult.

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2012 Herndon Monument Climb
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