First-year students at the US Naval Academy had their perseverance tested with a climb up a greased obelisk on Monday.
Annapolis students have to work together to place a midshipman's "cover" (hat) on the monument's tip – 6.4 metres (21 feet) up. The climb marks the end of the year for the freshmen and their transition from plebes (first years) to midshipmen.
The annual Herndon Monument Climb has taken place since 1962 – although the grease was added sometime in the late 1970s. The longest climb to date took four hours and five minutes, in 1998. Monday's climb took one hour, five minutes and five seconds.