When the opening is close enough to the wall I will first extend the telesteps enough to lean against the wall, climb up a few steps and push the hatch cover at least part way open. Then I will get off and extend the ladder further into the opening. (you can make a telesteps longer without closing it all the way, but you have to start from scratch to make it shorter)
On the rare occasion that an attic hatch is “in the middle of nowhere” I simply extend the ladder enough to push one side of the hatch cover up. When done you re-insert the hatch, one side leaning on the ladder, and then “jockey” it into final position with the ladder.
As far as crushing any sheetrock lip around the opening, if I’m understanding your concern correctly, you just have to get enough angle on the ladder and into the hatch far enough so that it rests on the framing around the hole. I don’t remember ever having a problem with damaging a hatch or opening with the ladder.
I spent my first year and a half using either the LG and/or a variety of stepladders and short extensions for attic hatches. Since I bought the Telesteps (it fits in the “boot” of the Mini) I haven’t had the need to take anything else inside a home. I have a telescoping painter’s pole to use for those cathedral ceiling smokeys. I don’t think you can get by with just the telesteps, but you would need a team of wild horses to get mine away from me.