It's a long way to crawl, is all...
There's also the issue of the "portholes" or other lighted fixtures along the length of the pylon to solve. Perhaps people spending two hours climbing the ladder do need to catch their breath on platforms offering a nice view?
Were those ever lit? Seems to me that they were always dark, probably just black painted rectangles on the model. Maybe on the TOS-r CG ship, I never paid close attention to that particular detail...
I had always interpreted those to be some sort of sensor emplacements or other hardware useful for the warp engines... not windows at all.