What y ou describe is what Ann and I did on Insatiable I which had steps on the mast
. If you have rope clutches
on the halyards, you don't even need a winch
-- the tender
just pulls the line through the clutch
But, when I needed to go aloft to the first spreaders for conning the boat through coral
, I just climbed up without any safety
line. I'm sure that OSHA would have jailed me if they had known, but it doesn't really seem all that dangerous... you choose!