Grease is back for obelisk climb at Naval Academy

AP News
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Posted: May 23, 2011 3:44 AM
Grease is back for obelisk climb at Naval Academy

The grease is back at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland.

After safety concerns prompted a greaseless climb last year, academy students _ known as "plebes" during their first year _ will again climb the grease-covered 21-foot Herndon Monument on Monday.

Vice Adm. Michael Miller, the superintendent, says he decided after careful consideration to restore the tradition of greasing the obelisk.

The students form a pyramid of bodies to hoist a classmate to replace a first-year student's hat with a midshipman's hat on top of the obelisk.

Students have sustained minor injuries in the past, prompting Miller's predecessor to hold a greaseless climb last year.

Grumbling from alumni could be heard almost immediately after that climb began and an event that has taken hours in past years was over in minutes.