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Posted at 12:59 PM ET, 05/12/2010

Herndon climb on its way out?

By Washington Post editors

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

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By 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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Sheesh, are they gonna stop trying to beat Army, too, since it's not an entirely accurate gauge of teamwork?

Posted by: EdTheRed | May 12, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh, come on! This is first time I've ever made a comment on any blog, but I am so tired of seeing today's youth being given such an easy path in life. They are coming into the workforce with little to no work ethic, thinking that they are going to be handed everything like that have been all their lives. Now, that isn't their fault, it's our fault! I've been to some of these Herndon climbs and it is nothing more than a bunch of well-conditioned young men and women piling on top of each other to reach a hat on top of a pole. Yes, it's a little silly and some people may get stepped on, but it's doable and everyone seems to enjoy the challenge and the victory. Is it now too dangerous to do something that kids have been doing for over 100 years? How are they going to defend our country, if they can't do this? Please stop coddling tomorrow's leaders to the point where they can't lead anything!

Posted by: VAGrrrrl | May 12, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

our country IS turning to chit... it is

Posted by: rockettonu | May 12, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

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