This introduction is taken almost verbatim from the [http://www.its.caltech.edu/~alpine/local-other.shtml#ice old website's ice page], so it should be cleaned up.
Mt. Mendel has two ice gullies (and a small ice field and glacier), though they are often out-of-season and are usually mixed climbs. Climbs such as V-Notch are very classic; see the list taken from Moynier and Fiddler below. The California Mountaineering Club has compiled a list of their "Classic Climbs", divided into technical, scrambling and snow/ice routes. Their ice routes include Mt. Darwin (N. Glacier), Polemonium Peak (V-notch), Mt. Mendel (Mendel Couloir), Mt. Gilbert (NW Couloir), and Split Mountain (NE Couloir).
In the past, the club has climbed the couloirs of North Peak, at Horsetail Icefall (June Lake), and around Lee Vining Canyon (all these locations are in close proximity). There is more information, and updates on conditions, at the Sierra Mountain Guides' online ice report. At the bottom of the page, they have conditions and directions (and sometimes topos) on June Lake, Lee Vining Canyon, Lundy Canyon, Paker Canyon, South Lake, Lake Tahoe area, Yosemite area and Sequoia Nat'l Park area. The proving grounds (near Rush Creek), Horsetail Falls and Lee Vining Canyon are all within about 30 miles of Mammoth, so expect about a 325 mile (and 5 to 6 hour) drive.
Lee Vining offers pretty good ice until April, with a large wall (~3 pitch), medium wall and small wall (you can top-rope it with a long rope -- there are a few bolts in places too), and a 45 min approach. To get there, take 395 past the Mammoth turnoff and past June Lake. Take 120 West towards Yosemite (the turnoff is before the town of Lee Vining). In the winter, the road is closed; just before the closure, there is a left turn. Take the left turn, and you immediately face a T-intersection. Go right, and drive a few miles. There is camping along here, though the campgrounds are closed in winater. Keep going as it turns to a dirt road, and drive to the end of the road at Poole Power Plant. Park in the turnoff before the parking lot. Walk through the parking lot to the West end, and hike West for 1/2 mile before taking a left turn into the obvious canyon.
The best -- and only -- guidebook devoted to ice climbing the Sierras is by SP Parker (of Sierra Mountain Center guiding service -- they ran our Avalanche Course 2007), called "Eastern Sierra Ice". We have a copy in our library. We also have a online PDf version that is restricted.
For alpine ice, try the aforementioned Mt. Mendel or North Peak, or try one of these routes:
- one of the Couloirs (e.g. St. Jean's Couloir) on the Northeast face of Split Mountain (14,058')
- the V-Notch Couloir of Polemonium Peak (14,000' )
- the nearby U-Notch Couloir on North Palisade (14,242')
- the Northeast Couloir on Thunderbolt Peak (14,000' )
- the North Couloir on Mt. Thompson (13,440')
- the North Glacier on Mt. Darwin (13,830')
- the North Face of Mt. Emerson (13,225')
- the Northeast Couloir of Mt. Humphreys (13,986')
- the North Couloir of Feather Peak (13,242')
- the North Couloir of Red Slate Mountain (13,163')
- the Dana Couloir on Mt. Dana (13,053')
These suggestions are taken from Moynier and Fiddler's Climbing California's High Sierra, 2nd ed. (we have a copy in the library). The impression I have is that most of these climbs have very short seasons during which they are truly ice; it is also likely on a few of these climbs that crossing the bergshrund is the technical crux.