Originally Posted by 320pilot
... but got it too far down wind, when wind aloft increased, and when I went to transition to blue sky and bring it back, lost the orientation over deep forest. ...Never saw it again!
After a couple of near-death experiences with a 2 m sailplane, I stopped searching for the limit of how high I could go in a thermal. And staying lower has made me a better thermaler, I think. But I did clear 2,500 feet on a few occasions.
I still occasionally let a plane climb up quite a bit, but only in a fairly gentle thermal under a fully-overcast sky.