Herndon climb on its way out?
The head of the U.S. Naval Academy says a traditional climb on a 21-foot obelisk greased with 200 pounds of lard may be on its way out.
Vice Admiral Jeffrey Fowler said Wednesday during a regular end-of-school briefing that the Herndon Monument climb is still scheduled this month. But he says he believes midshipmen will decide it’s not as good a gauge of teamwork as the academy’s Sea Trials, which involve all first-year students in an all-day obstacle course competition.
Fowler also says safety is a concern during the Herndon Monument climb, and students have injured themselves climbing over each other. Fowler says it’s unclear, though, when the climb will actually be nixed.
It’s believed the tradition began in 1907.
This isn't the first time academy officials have mentioned amending or ending the traditional climb. In 2008, the academy's leadership said it was considering an overhaul of the climb for the sake of safety and professionalism. In the end, the only noticeable safety changes that year were the addition of 30 student observers and a slight reduction in the amount of lard slathered on the Herndon Monument.
-- Staff and wire reports
Washington Post editors
| May 12, 2010; 12:59 PM ET
Categories: Maryland | Tags: Herndon Monument, Lard, Maryland, Midshipman, Sea trial, U.S. Naval Academy, United States Naval Academy
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