Konrad, After the lack of response from Golf City Products, I have pretty much decided to go with the Bear Vault instead, and that's what I've plugged into my geargrams list.
But I am aiming for five days from MTR to Whitney. I know, and many people have commented, that this is a "challenging" pace. But I've seen many who've made this and faster. And without wanting to sound conceited, if I consider my previous performance, I believe it to be feasible.
I very frequently hike 22 miles with 5,000 ft of a elevation (and descent) in 7 hours. Before an expedition like this I up this to 32 miles with 8,000 ft of elevation in 11 hours. I day hiked Whitney in 9 hours. Grand Canyon R2R in under 8 hours. I did Zion Narrows top down (plus a 12 mile hike into the trailhead because the road was washed out) in 10 hours.
I KNOW this will be different, but heading SoBO I'll have the option of backing out at VVR or MTR if it looks like that last section won't be possible for me. Plus with the BV450, I can pack (a fair bit) more than in the BB101.
I'm already training hard, and I'll be doing a 270 mile through hike in the UK in May, on a similar (eleven day) schedule. if i struggle with that, I'll re-think my JMT itinerary.
I already bought Elizabeth Wenk's book, which is great for planning,but too big for the trail, and I'm not that impressed with the maps. I've heard good things about Erik's JMT Atlas, but is it really superior to PostHoler's (free) Map and Data pack, which I can print on waterproof paper and have with me at way under an ounce?