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Naval Academy class of 2023 completes Herndon Climb; delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions

Posted at 11:00 PM, Aug 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-22 23:00:24-04

ANNAPOLIS — The U.S. Naval Academy class of 2023 finally got their chance to participate in a decade's long tradition at the academy- the Herndon Climb!

The climb, which takes place during Commissioning Week of a classes Plebe year, was postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The challenge consist of more than 1,000 midshipman forming a human pyramid around the 21-foot Herndon Monument, located on the academy grounds, to remove a plebe hat or "dixie cup" that upperclassman put atop the monument which is also covered in vegetable shortening while they are then sprayed with water hoses. The midshipman that makes it to the top, replaces the dixie cup with a midshipman hat.

According to the Naval Academy, the climb was rescheduled to happen a the beginning of the midshipmen's second class (junior) year.

The class completed the challenge in 3 hours and 39 seconds.

Midshipman 2nd Class James Crossfield, 21, of Philadelphia, replaced the cover on Herndon for the Class of 2023. Crossfield is a member of the 9th Company.