There are only two of us aboard our boat, my wife and myself. Last year we had an "incident" with the genoa furling, when the lug broke off the swivel. This necessitated a trip up the mast, to retrieve the halliard. Luckily, there was another yacht anchored in the loch, whose crew immediately offered assistance.
During the past winter, I fitted folding steps to the mainmast. I had already fitted fixed steps on the mizzen, the previous winter. A few weeks ago, just prior to launching, having re-stepped the mainmast, I found that the masthead tricolour wasn't working. This meant that the new steps were used rather sooner than expected. It was a dawdle. I climbed up, "wearing" the bosun's chair, with my wife taking up the slack on the spare genoa halliard on the winch. On my reaching the masthead, she made fast the halliard, and I was able to work at the light, in complete comfort, with both feet on the twin top steps.
The steps mean that we now have a safe, simple way of getting up the mast without requiring assistance from anyone else. I highly recommend them. Obviously, they must be used with due care, and with either a harness, or a bosun's chair. The harness is easier to climb with, but not as comfortable once you get there.