First off... my hat is off to all who do complete the JMT unsupported and unresupplied. It was not to be for me.
Pushed out early from Happy Isles (permit for Aug 5th, left at 12am EDT on August 5th... too bad it was only 9pm PDT on August 4th in Yosemite). Hiked for 24 hours and only got down the trail 38 miles. Tuolumne Meadows in 12 hours, Donahue Pass by 23 hours (2 hour break in Lyell Canyon to cool off), and about another 2 miles into the Ansel Adams Wilderness before the 24 hour mark. Too slow for any record, but then I was only racing myself.
Day 2 I broke the unresupplied rule by grabbing a Gatorade,a Haagen Dazs bar, and some jerky at the Reds Meadow Store. "Ho-to-hey" had some extra ham and cheese to offer, so I scarfed on that, too. Oh well. Pushed down the trail for a few more miles in the dark. Total 28 miles.
Met up with a kindred spirit on Day 3, Kevin from San Diego. We informally hiked together the rest of the day, then pushed over Silver Pass and Bear Ridge for around 30 more miles.
We stuck together for the rest of the trip, Kevin became "Frodo" due to his preoccupation with Lord of the Rings. Thanks to my visually loud gaiters, I became "Disco". Everywhere I went, folks proclaimed "I like your gaiters" [especially the women :)]. Day 4 we made the decision to cut the mileage to 25 per day. We camped that night at the Piute Creek crossing at the northern entrance to Kings Canyon National Park. 100 miles to go.
Times to remember: Swim in Evolution Lake... found a $20 bill. Night hike over Glen Pass... Venus, sunglow, silhouettes, and the meteor showers. Foot soak at Crabtree. 3 hours sleep at Guitar Lake. After a total of 8 days, 8 hours, and 19 minutes, I stood atop Mt. Whitney at 5:19am (PDT) to await the sunrise.
Am I fast? Did I do it alone? Heck, no. But it was a good test of endurance and mental fortitude.
I learned a lot about myself and the cost and benefits of traveling ultralight. The tortoise finished the race.
For those of you with aspirations of setting records, best of luck to you. I found out I was much slower than anticipated. A thorough multi-day check is necessary to get the real feel for how much mileage you really are capable of over a period of time. I did two "day" outings: 39 miles up Whitney via Mountaineers Route, then out south over Cottonwood Pass to Horseshoe Meadow... 20 hours, and a 31-mile loop hike out of Mineral King, over Sawtooth Pass, across the backcountry with a return over Franklin Pass... 13 hours. Good workups both, but neither of these prepared me for the multi-day fatigue.
Take care, and always remember we are guests when traveling in the wilderness.
Oh, and for the record, timing started at Happy Isles ROAD. The sign with all the mileage was 4 minutes into the hike, after getting all my gear together. I finished the John Muir Trail at the SOUTHERN END of the John Muir Trail, atop Mt Whitney. If you really need to know the time to Whitney Portal, it was...?