The first part of any flight in a glider is getting off the ground. The most common method at the London Gliding Club is by an aerotow, which is simply a tow behind an aeroplane!
Depending on the weather and the purpose of the flight, aerotows are generally to between 2000 and 4000 feet above the airfield. To get to 2000 feet takes about 6 minutes.
The higher the aerotow, the greater the range of the glider, allowing the pilot to reach thermals further away from the airfield. When the air is still, extra height allows for longer flights as it will take about 40 minutes for a K21 to descend from 4000 feet.
Aerobatic flights tend to tow to 4000 feet as this gives them the time to perform their routines - often beating the tow plane back to the airfield!