Thanks for the great article, and wonderful pictures, Andrew.
What did you do to prepare for the altitude? (I think one gains about 6000' almost immediately.) Did you spend some time at altitude, hiking, before beginning, or just rely on your general fitness? And what altitude do you live at? (I once met a hiker and his wife on the first leg of Roper's route who lived at 6000' +, in New Mexico. I imagine that 11,000' to me felt like 5,000' to him).
It always takes me several days to start feeling alright, no matter how hard I train at home - I live at sea level - and I've sometimes wondered if I should try Diamox, which I think Bob Gross mentioned in another thread. Mostly what I experience is very elevated, thready pulse, and a desire to go to sleep, no headaches or lung stuff. Then, on the third or fourth day, I start to feel alright. Might be better, though time-consuming, to spend 3 or so days before-hand day-hiking high, and sleeping lower.