By lex, on May 25th, 2011
That’s how long it took the USNA class of 2011 to climb Herndon, the tradition of greasing the undeniably phallic obelisk having returned:
To get to the top means creating a sweaty, muscular human pyramid. At the bottom are the “big guys,” the type who played football in high school.
“It’s hot; it’s really hot at the bottom,” said Tommy Reed, 20, of New York, who spent a while at the foundation-level.“And you get exhausted so quickly.”
The next two levels are lighter, muscular men and women who aren’t afraid to have someone step on their head. At one point, a bent-over male plebe balanced himself on the shoulders of two classmates while another classmate stood on his back. Socks and shirts were turned into ropes. Plebes fell backwards and were caught crowd-surfing-style. And grease flew.
Once those three layers stabilized, which took at least an hour, tall and wiry climbers would try to scurry up the flesh mountain, carrying a white cap.
“You just see a small person and you just start lifting them up,” said Marc Nucum, 19, of New Jersey. “I was pretty high up, but I wasn’t worried. I knew people were going to catch me.”
Hour after hour went by. It was suddenly 4 o’clock in the afternoon.
It’s hard. It’s supposed to be hard.
No mo’ plebes!