Aug 7, 2012, 11:57 AM
Registered: Nov 14, 2002
Like other folks have said, it varies from place to place.
I recently did a route that required you to often go five to eight feet off the bolt line to keep it at the grade. The bolts were placed where the good rock was, and in line with each other. While it might be possible to climb directly up the bolt line, no-one is expected to do so, and the climbing would be much harder than the grade.
Whereas I can think of other places where holds that are easily within reach from the bolt line are "off".
Climbing at the former type of place can feel very "sporty" for sport climbing, and climbing at the latter type of place always feels silly and contrived.
Keep in mind, too, that sometimes a route is simply poorly bolted, or was bolted for holds that have since broken off.
(This post was edited by cracklover on Aug 8, 2012, 1:55 PM)