Sloping terrain offers nothing if you’re below it. (The same is true of thermal hunting, of course. Those black rocks may be hot enough to cook on, but if you are not above them, the lift they generate will be above you – and out of immediate reach.) The terrain beneath you is what counts!
Even in the absence of strong wind, the day’s first lift normally will be found above some kind of sloping ground. If sun and wind are coming from approximately the same direction, it should be easy to locate. But if they oppose each other at odd angles, lift may be so broken or intermittent that simply staying up is a great challenge. But whether it amounts to weak thermals enhancing ridge lift or vice versa, you can usually expect either to strengthen as the sun rises in the sky. Then, aside from any squalls or frontal-related activity, expect both thermals and wind to weaken as evening approaches.