The last couple of podcasts in Howe's series describes the equipment and route he took based on his experiences. Listen here to his post trip review for his recommendations:
I'd agree with what he says. I photocopied relevant portions of Roper's book for my trip. I was going north to south, so the description took some concentrated reading, I think his south to north description was more detailed.
A self supporting tent would be preferable because you are unavoidably camping on rock shelves, but I just used rocks as stakes and did fine. You are above timberline, so wind is an issue.
At times trekking poles were in the way. The terrain is so variable and you often use your hands (class III or IV). I'm not sure poles were as helpful to me as they apparently were to Steve Howe.
I completly agree with his comments on durability. Trekking shoes will take a beating and some ankle support among those boulders would be helpful. The trade off is that too much leather and shank could prevent you from being cat-like when you need to be. I'd look for a boot with a solid leather upper that remained flexible. The granite is like sandpaper and it tore the seams on a pair of Dunham mid terrastryders I was wearing.
The pack needs to be bushwack and granite rock resistant. More than once I was sliding on my butt on loose talus, etc. to avoid sliding off whatever I was trying to stay on. Also, squeezing between boulders can wreck havoc on the pack. Avoid hanging stuff off your pack, it'll get pulled off or torn up.
Much of the routefindng I did was by sight and much of this route is above timberline. However, Roper's description of the route can seem impassable because you can't see past all of the boulders and cliffs you are negotiating. You rarely walk in a straight line, you may go left, then right, then right again, and it is easy to lose track of the originally intended direction. A map and compass bearing based on the book is helpful. Kevin is right, you need to be capable of using those tools. If you go too far off the recommended route you can end up stuck on a rock shelf that was somehow easy to get to, but difficult to get off of.
I recall Steve Howe recommends a rope. I didn't have one. In retrospect I'd have brought at least a length of rope capable of hauling my pack down some of the steep sections. From some of Howe's podcasts I take it he encountered more exposure than I did. I'd listen to those podcasts relevant to your route. My personal preference is not to bring a rope on a solo trip because if I feel I need a rope I'm likely taking too many risks and should seek out another route.
I think he used a plb or sat phone. This is one trip in the lower 48 that would justify having one. You will be near the JMT and all of that traffic, but you will likely be too far away to be heard. Rent if you can't afford to buy.
Off subject, this reference to Steve Howe reminds me of a story. I was in the Wind River Range in early August of 2006. While getting bear spray and alcohol that I couldn't fly with at a popular outfitter who shuttles hikers or their cars to and from the trails, they told me they had been unable to park a hiker's car at the destination he had requested because a local tribe wouldn't give them permission. He was hiking south on the CDT and I was hiking north on the CDT, so they gave me a piece of paper with the hiker's name on it and asked me to let him know his car would have to be parked two days away from his intended destination. As a joke, I asked them if there was a cold beer in this for me. They laughed, and I forgot about the beer, but remembered the instructions. Well, the hiker was Steve Howe! Sure enough about three or four days later I ran into him and had a Dr. Livingston moment. When I was picked up four days later by the outfitter (I made sure they could pick me up there before I left!), I told him I found Howe and let him know the car would not be waiting, but they would park it at Big Sandy Opening. Without skipping a beat, the outfitter produced a cold beer from an ice chest as a thanks. They feared Steve Howe, who they knew worked for Backpacker, would write a bad review of their services if he'd arrived at his destination without his car. They weren't sure their communications with the magazine's home office were communicated to him, though they got the impression he had a sat phone. Until they picked me up, they were sweating the consequences. I think Howe was scheduled to get out a day or two after me, so I assume his car was waiting for him.
You should have a trip of a lifetime, just take it slowly and carefully. If you are going too slow for your cache, then plan on an alternate route out for provisions as Kevin recommends. In my view, the greatest risk is moving too fast on this route. There is a lot of great scenery out there anyway, so why rush it through the boulders and risk a mishap.