05/20/2013 01:30 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Naval Academy's Herndon Monument Climb (Photos)

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On Monday afternoon, about 1000 Naval Academy midshipmen will attempt to climb a greased, 21-foot-tall obelisk.

The Herndon Monument Climb is a yearly tradition for freshmen, who will endeavor to replace a "dixie cup" hat at the top of the monument with an upperclassmen's hat.

The monument will be covered with a couple hundred pounds of lard -- which can make for a slippery, and many-hours-long, undertaking.

Here's more from the Naval Academy's website on the history of this tradition -- and here are some photos from last year's climb to tide us over until 2013's hat exchange is done:

2012 Herndon Monument Climb