“Plebes No More!”

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I went to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis to cover the Herndon Monument Climb, an annual tradition during graduation week. Since 1947, plebes have climbed the monument to symbolize the completion of plebe year.

The climb has evolved over the years. It has been said that the midshipman who reaches the top first will become the first admiral of their class. In 1952, the monument was lathered in lard to make the climb more difficult.

This year, which marks the last year of the longstanding tradition due to safety reasons, the monument was barely greased. The plebes reached the top in a mere two minutes and five seconds.

Here’s the video I shot for The Sun. I should have gotten more super tight shots of the climbers stepping on each other’s faces, feet, and hands. It would have made for some pretty entertaining video.

That being said, I know this is an improvement from my first Sun video. I’m having a blast learning something new every time I go out and shoot.

Thanks to Chris Assaf for his editing wisdom and for polishing off this video.