A gap in my schedule allowed me to whip out the JMT in just shy of two weeks last week and ostensibly do some product testing in the process. I wanted to share some photos from the trip:
This is the bivy pitched at, I believe, Squaw Lake... right out in the open on a flat rock thanks to bluebird weather. One thing I love about my setup is that I keep my NeoAir and quilt inside the bivy at all times. When I arrive at camp I pull it out and roll it out and inflate the mattress - good to go! In the morning, I open the valve, roll the whole package up, and stuff it in the bottom of my pack. Takes 2 minutes and no need for separate stuff sacks. I only removed my quilt twice on the trip to dry out some condensation after bad weather days. Neat, clean, simple, and LIGHT!
At Muir Trail Ranch it threatened to rain but didn't deliver. Here's an unconventional pitch of my 7'x9' Wraith cat tarp that makes use of some natural protection.
This is just a glamour shot of yours truly sporting my custom pack. Full suspension, pivoting hipbelt, cush padding, ventilation, stays, framesheet, cuben drybag: 28 ounces! It drew a lot of inquiry from folks on the trail.
A more typical A-frame pitch of the tarp showing the bivy & gear inside. I find that stuffing the hood of the bivy above my head with extra gear makes for a nice pillow area and actually expands the hood into its 3D shape - significantly reducing claustrophobia (of which I suffer from - I like my freedom!)
And the storm moves in... only two or three days of bad weather, but those days were bad: This one would become several hours of hail and hard rain - fortunately no wind as the A-frame pitch doesn't provide a heck of a lot of protection in that situation. You should see the video I took of this storm!
Yours truly on the second to last day of the trip... a strange, stalled-out storm system had moved in just in time for Whitney.
Wraith pitched in A-frame config and making use of a natural rock barrier. An hour into the storm the wind did a 180 and I ran out during a lull to build a little rock wall on the front end to keep things cozy. One thing I like about A-frame pitches is that they're roomy and it's easy to crawl in from the rear and lay down in the proper orientation. This tarp also easily pitches in a three-sides-to-the-ground configuration even though I didn't use it on this trip.
Same location, the Wraith cat tarp is pictured with a buddy in the background. This is about at 12K and a few hundred feet above Guitar Lake where most folks camp. Notice all the snow dumped at the eaves of the tarp!
A final picture on the second to last day of the trip. Amazingly I had splitter weather the following morning for summitting Whitney - I was first to the top from the JMT side at about 7:15 AM, but I followed a rabbit's footprints in the snow all the way up to the trail junction!
All of these products are available for sale, and I specialize in custom work. For more info, email me at VIRGAOUTDOORS AT GMAIL DOT COM
My prototype quilt (the Wendego), used only on this trip, is washed, as fresh as new, and for sale at a discounted price - see the original post at http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=52038&skip_to_post=439382#439382 and make an offer if you're interested.
Bivy: 5.0 ounces
Quilt (Wendego Prototype): 16.4 ounces
Wraith Cat Tarp: 5.8 ounces
Total Pack Weight (minus consumables): 11 pounds. Next time I'm leaving the Nutella and spoon behind and going sub 10 lbs!
Thanks! And sorry about the low-quality photos - the high res versions take forever to upload!