The high mountains of Pamir provide a fascinating natural laboratory to study geodynamic processes and their surface feedbacks. The ongoing India–Asia convergence controls the topographic growth, while the transition from westerlies to Indian summer monsoon-driven climate sets the pace for erosion processes. The role of climatic and tectonic factors is especially well recorded by the Pamir Rivers that reflect considerable changes in discharge and base levels and corresponding reorganization of the drainage network. In particular at the Pamir Plateau, the intercalation of glacial and fluvial sediments and massive landslides witnesses the complex interaction of surface processes in high mountains. We present two figures of characteristic valleys at the Pamir Plateau to describe the complex interaction of surface processes and climatic versus tectonic control factors (Figs. 1, 2).