When riding uphill on snow or ice, momentum is everything. In this video you see me honking at people on the road because I couldn’t afford to stop. Of course, the knobby tyres would do their bit in providing traction on the slippery surface in case I stopped. But it’s much easier to just keep moving.
Also, when riding on snow and ice, its better to keep your feet on the foot pegs and balance the motorcycle using you body weight. Keep the motorcycle as vertical as possible by moving your torso sideways. When you see snow your first reaction will be to lower your feet so that they hover about the ground in the hope that you will be able to straighten the bike when it starts slipping. That’s extremely exhausting and also wrecks your balance. I tried that technique first but quickly learned that it was the wrong way. It’s much easier and less tiring to keep your feet on the foot pegs and drop a leg to the surface whenever required.
Lastly, don’t stand on the foot pegs and ride. Doing that will move the center of gravity forwards and transfer more weight to the front wheel. What you need is more weight on the rear wheel so that it digs into the ice and gets a little more traction.
Of course, all this assumes that you are using the right tyres. Knobbies are the best. At least they worked wonderfully for me, as you can see in the video. If you don’t have knobbies then get tyres which have wide sharp horizontal grooves. If you are stuck with street tyres then buy some nylon rope and loop it around the tyres. I saw many riders use rope and it worked nicely for them. One of the bikes that I passed was a KTM Duke 390 with stock Metzeler street tyres. But since it had nylon rope on its rear tyre, the rider was able to get the traction he needed to ride his motorcycle uphill on the snow and ice.