Unless there’s a bona fide sure thing waiting nearby, stay with your first opportunity to climb all the way to the top. Later in a flight, with more information, you may elect to abandon thermals as they weaken, but betting big on the first hand – or in weak conditions – could put you out of the game for the whole day. Similarly, if the altitude band of strongest lift is relatively low and you expect less lift ahead, it’s wise to gain all the height you can before moving on. Of course, the lower you are, the more conservative you should be as well. And any time you’re climbing away from a low save (even if it’s 6:00 p.m.), treat such a climb with similar prudence, or it may be too little too late!