The Pakistani definition of a mountain according to the Ministry of Tourism in Islamabad is a peak higher than 6500 meters, 21,450 feet. Therefore you dont need permits for peaks lower than that mark. Anything higher, or if you are hiking within 20 km of an international border you will need permits. For a permit, you need to either: 1. Licensed mountain guide OR 2. Pakistan Army Liason Officer (LO) to guide you along the way. The guide/LO has to be equipped with gear that will allow him to hike with you till the base camp of your peak.
This information is a public crowdsourcing effort between the Access Fund,
and Mountain Project. You should confirm closures, restrictions, and/or related dates.
This is one mountain that should not need a description. K2 unlike Everest is the 'mountaineer's mountain.' No aluminum ladders across the ice fall, no ladders on hard sections, no sherpas to set your tent and massage your feet, no lines to the summit. An unfortunate group of climbers tried 'Everest techniques' on K2 in the summer of 2008. What happened can be found in an outdoorsy magazine you can get your hands on. K2 stands by itself and makes its own weather. 1/3 of people who have attempted K2 have not returned. This is a serious mountain and most seasoned 8000 meter climbers will keep K2, Annapurna and Nanga Parbat at the end of their list.
Arrive at Islamabad airport and either fly to Skardu or take a taxi to the Pir Wadhai bus stop where you can catch a bus to Skardu. From Skardu a private jeep hire will take you to Askoli where a 10 day trek through the Braldu Valley and Baltoro Glacier will bring you to the basecamp of K2 at 18,000 feet.
The peak can also be approached from China, however this means dealing with the Chinese Mountaineering ministry. They will tell you when you can go, how many trucks you will need to transport gear, how many camels you will need to take the gear fro the trucks across the Shaksgam river. The Shaksgam can flood periodically and has waters low enough to cross only a few weeks a year. To avoid this bureaucratic and logistical nightmare most expeditions approach K2 from the Pakistani side.