The well-known climber Ed Viesturs plays himself in the movie. He also worked as a trainer for the actors.

The script was originally meant to be a sequel to Cliffhanger (1993).

While the actual 28,000-foot K2 is in the Karakoram Range in Pakistan, Mt. Cook in New Zealand served as the backdrop for all scenes involving the famous peak.

Montgomery Wick's name is an obvious reference to Thomas Montgomerie and Jim Wickwire. Montgomerie discovered K2, and Jim Wickwire was the first American to climb K2. Wickwire also lost several toes on the mountain, similar to the character Montgomery Wick.

The toeless feet of character "Montgomery Wick" seen at the beginning of the film actually belong to mountaineer Mark Whetu, who lost his toes while spending a night outdoors above 28,000 feet during a 1994 attempt on Everest.

The Bench brothers were based on the Burgess twins, Alan and Adrian, who are two climbers from Yorkshire, England.

Real-life high-altitude climber Ed Viesturs plays himself in this film. Four years earlier, he helped Beck Weathers descend Mt. Everest after Weathers was severely injured in the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster. Weathers survived a night in the open on the South Col, at 26,000 feet, and lost both his hands and was thus unable to grasp the fixed lines during the descent.

K2 is the second highest mountain in the world, after Mount Everest, at 8,611 meters (28,251 feet) above sea level.

The actors and actresses performed many of their own stunts.

The first time director Martin Campbell has filmed anything in his home country of New Zealand.

The three helicopter seen in this movie are: 1. Army helicopter is a Bell UH-1 Twin Huey (2 engines). Maximum service ceiling 17,300 feet. The two Majestic helicopters are 1. Eurocopter EC145 (now known as the Airbus H145). Maximum service ceiling 17,200 feet and 2. Eurocopter EC135 (now known as the Airbus H135). Maximum service ceiling 20,000 feet. The EC135 would have been better suited for the rescue mission.

Director Martin Campbell's third collaboration with Stuart Wilson, with whom he had previously worked on No Escape (1994) and The Mask of Zorro (1998) and Campbell's second collaboration with Izabella Scorupco, with whom he worked on GoldenEye (1995).

Two characters in the movie, Tom McLaren and Frank Williams, are named after successful Formula One (auto-racing) teams. The latter even has the same name as the team manager.

Skip (Robert Taylor) comments that Monique (Izabella Scorupco) was French-Canadian, which contributed to her mood swings. The actress is actually Polish, but was raised in Sweden.

Chris O'Donnell, Ben Mendelsohn and Temuera Morrison have appeared in separate DC comic book movies; O'Donnell portrayed Robin in Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, Mendelsohn portrayed John Daggett in The Dark Knight Rises and Morrison portrayed Tom Curry in Aquaman and also Abin Sur in Green Lantern.

Ben Daniels was offered a role, but turned it down.

Chris O'Donnell, Ben Mendelsohn and Temuera Morrison have appeared in separate DC comic book movies; O'Donnell portrayed Robin in Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, Mendelsohn portrayed Roland Daggett in The Dark Knight Rises and Morrison portrayed Tom Curry in Aquaman and also Abin Sur in Green Lantern, which was also directed by Martin Campbell.

Legendary rock climber and free soloist Alex Honnold has referred to this film as the least realistic and worst depiction of rock climbing in any film.