Lard knocks: Watch a bunch of Naval Academy plebes try to scale a greased, 21-foot obelisk

Each year the Naval Academy's freshmen—known as "plebes"—climb a greased 21-foot obelisk to mark their transition to sophomore status. This year's climb was both typical and outlandish. (Brad Horn/The Washington Post)

Through knowledge … see a bunch of plebes trying to climb a 21-foot obelisk coated with more than 200 pounds of vegetable shortening!

The U.S. Naval Academy’s annual climb up lard-coated Herndon Monument took place Monday in Annapolis.

“It’s not an easy task,” the parent of one Naval Academy student told The Post’s Brad Horn.

An Annapolis tradition that goes back nearly 75 years, the climb marks the end of freshmen year for the plebes. It ends when a first-year student puts an midshipman’s hat over the plebe’s hat on top of the monument. Michael Landry of Southaven, Miss., had the honors this year, ending the event after 2 hours, 19 minutes and 32 seconds, according to the Associated Press.

Click here for a photo gallery.

 

J. Freedom du Lac is the editor of The Post's general assignment news desk. He was previously a Local enterprise reporter and, before that, the paper’s pop music critic.

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