There's many skills from rock climbing photography that can transfer over to ice, however, there's a few caveats to look out for.
Here's a few things I've picked up on from my own experience that may help you avoid injury(to yourself and others), help with equipment preparation, and your overall experience.
1. Pay attention to overhead hazards
Overhead hazards are present in rock-climbing as well, but perhaps they're not as prominent as ice climbing. You'll want to pay attention to surrounding ice, making sure not to drop any on your subject (or others). If you're rappelling in, check for chandeliers and kick them off ahead of time when there's no one underneath you. The chandeliers can snap off unexpectedly when you hit them, or when your rope snags one. Along the same note, check for runnels at the top of the cliff so you're not positioned directly in the line of any spindrift.
2. Be careful at the lip of climbs
I find lowering over an ice climb to be more difficult than a rock one. Rock surfaces allow for smears in all sorts of directions, providing more opportunities to distribute weight. For ice, your crampons need to be in full contact with the wall (perpendicular, ideally) in order to have a proper perch - less room for fidgeting. Take some time to lower over slowly so you don't slip and slam into the wall.
3. Maintain a steady position on the ice
I'll often be above my subject for a rock climbing photo, scurrying off to the side by smearing when they approach me - this isn't so effective for ice. Similar to the point above, there's much less flexibility when scurrying around on the wall. It's possible to use running momentum to get out of the way to clip a preset screw, but that presents a hazard to your subject if you fail to do your due-diligence and clip yourself in, or you release some ice. I recommend setting up a stance to the side of your subject if the terrain is difficult.
TEMPERATURES AND CAMERA GEAR
4. Bring extra batteries and keep them warm
This is a pretty basic one, but it's worth repeating because of how important it is - bring extra batteries! It's cold, your batteries won't be working at full capacity, likely to die out quicker. Keeping an extra battery close to you (the closer to skin, the better) will ensure that you have a good and warm battery to use when one dies. Sometimes warming up a "dead" battery will also rejuvenate it for a few extra shots.
5. Watch out for moisture damage
Bringing your camera back into a warm environment after a cold day out can invite some pretty hefty condensation. To help minimize the moisture, try leaving your camera in the bag for awhile after you've brought it inside - the temperature change will be a little more gradual. It also doesn't hurt to throw in a few silica gels into your pack either. On the same note, I try not to change out lenses when I'm out on the field because of this. Do your best to pick the most suitable lens for the day - or if you don't mind the weight and cost, bring two bodies. Also, snow's not as bad as you think it is, just brush it off.
6. Be prepared to be cold
So your legs used to cramp up with harness-syndrome, now you get to be cold as well. Aside from the obvious (wear warm clothing), I like to bring heater packs to shove into the pockets of my puffy jacket or the wrists of my gloves. When I'm not shooting, I shove my hands into the pockets to keep them warm rather than gripping the camera. It also helps to eat some warm and fatty foods before you hang on the line for awhile - slow burning calories are key. Sometimes it's just going to be cold out regardless, so succumbing to the fact that you're going to be cold anyways can help - mmm, winter!
PHOTO-RIGGING AND SETUPS
7. Find alternatives for descent and ascent devices
For me, one of the largest cruxes of ice climbing photography comes with the limited uses of the GriGri - I rely heavily on the auto-camming function during rock season. Unfortunately, the camming feature doesn't work so well when snow and ice cake the lines. The cam will slip and jerk unexpectedly, and can cause me to grip the rope tighter than if I had used an ATC in the first place.
If weather is fair, the Grigri works great, just pay attention to those snow/ice patches. If weather is not so fair, use devices with teeth, or friction hitches that will bite into the rope. For rock climbing, I use this setup, but if the rope is slippery, I'll replace the Grigri with an ATC Guide/Reverso in auto-blocking mode.
Remember that you're ultimately responsible for your own safety, so do what think is fair for yourself and always remember to keep your system redundant - tie back-ups!
8. Keeping it simple
It can be really easy to get carried away with your rigging systems, especially with directionals. Sometimes it just helps to keep a fixed position, and limit yourself intentionally - there's already a lot of things to pay attention to. When you keep it simple, you direct more energy into capturing a creative photo.
Pick a fixed and available position (on a rope or not), and concentrate on the climber. Sometimes that's all it takes to get a good shot.
- The nights are long and the days are short - check to see when the sun rises and sets in your area and get up earlier if you want to have an ice day that is comparable to a rock one.
- All that white snow and ice can really exacerbate chromatic aberration. Pay close attention to the background in which you frame your subject - use a smaller apertures when you can, and be prepared to spend some time in post-processing when necessary.