Your observation is appreciated.
Prior to the Mountain becoming "civilized," we get a snapshot of an earlier era in a 1930's Mt Whitney Pack Trains Brochure:
"another 20 minutes (past Lone Pine Lake) and we arrive at Mt Whitney Outpost Camp, located at 10,300 feet, just below timber line, In the wondrous setting of towering cliffs and green meadows of Ibex Park. Here those on the more leisurely two and three day trip, as well as those wishing to take advantage of the excellent fishing in the near-by lakes and streams, are served delicious mountain cooked meals and furnished with clean, comfortable beds during their stay."
PS Given all the elbow room in the Sierras, I have never understood why such a large subset of campers sleep so remarkably close to the trail. The concept of "stealth camping" never seems to have gained much traction. Or maybe I just do not see the stealth campers as they are doing a great job at staying off my radar screen.