Meet the Team: Ashot Davtyan

Director, TCT Armenia NGO; Chief Operations Officer, Trails For Change NGO



Ashot has always felt the call of the mountains, and spent much of his holidays and free time hiking and guiding. When he joined the TCT in 2017, he began to see the outdoors not just as a hobby, but as a career path that enabled him to do what he loved and be part of an international organization. So he quit his banking job, joined the TCT, and the rest is history.

When he’s not working, Ashot’s first priority is his family—he loves playing with his kids, traveling, hiking, and paddleboarding, a sport that is just developing in Armenia. If you’re fortunate enough to meet Ashot, watch out for his famous dad jokes—you never know if he’s serious or not!

In Ashot’s Words:

Why did you want to join the TCT?

Before the TCT, I was working indoors in offices or production facilities, but I was hiking a lot during my free time. I saw a lot of trails, but I didn’t know how the trails were built or who built them. The concept of hiking trails was also very new to Armenia. I wanted to change my career and work in the outdoors, so I accepted the invitation to work at the TCT when it came.

Favorite part/section of the TCT:

I like different terrains in Georgia, in Armenia, wherever I have been. The forest areas, the rock areas, and the mountainous parts of the Caucasus. But I think the part I like most is Vayots Dyor region, part of going to the Artavan region of Armenia, where you meet rocks and snow at different times in one hike. It’s really amazing! It’s really someplace where I feel another energy.

And also the ancient trails, the new trails where we built back in 2018 and 2019. And also the old part, the rocks. I like this section very much.

Favorite place in the Caucasus:

Vorotan Canyon near Tatev village. It’s unique, we have parts of the TCT there, and there are other trails, too. We have the longest cable car crossing the canyon. It’s the longest in the world, I think, and holds the Guinness record. It’s an amazing place full of ancient trails, ancient history, villages, churches, castles, and waterfalls. So it’s really a majestic area.

Memorable moment:

I remember the same type of moment from working on different sections of the trail: when we are physically digging the trail or visiting the trail crews and hikers pass by. These hikers come because of the team, because of the project, because of the work we started back in 2016-2017, and they come to hike and enjoy the trail.

I can see that we have created something special, and people are coming to enjoy it. When they see us working, most hikers don’t know exactly who we are, that we’re the reason this trail exists, and of course, we don’t always go into the details of who we are. We say hi and tell them that we are doing this job or we’re building trails. It’s a really nice moment when we see people who came because of this project and the work we do. We always have positive conversations and energy, and people want to know more about what’s going on now and about the future of the trail.

Most special part of the TCT:

I think it’s all special. But it’s really the entire team who’s involved in all this—not only the team in Armenia, but also the team members in Georgia and Azerbaijan and the TCTA. I feel that the people love what they do. It’s not just a job, it’s not just something they do for money or for other things. The team has a huge energy, and especially in recent years when the entire team is able to come together more often, that energy gets bigger and becomes more special to me. That’s why I’m also motivated to continue to work—it’s really something that pushes me to do more.

Why should people hike or get involved with the TCT?

The TCT captures the attention of hikers around the world and people who are interested in adventures and culture in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. There are places where there might not be roads and places that people—even locals—haven’t heard about or been. It’s special. It’s not only a trail. It’s a special way for people—for the locals at first—to recognize the value and beauty of their natural areas, and for other people to come and explore and to have cultural exchange and get to know other people. The TCT connects the countries, connects the world to this area of the Caucasus, and is key to bringing interested people here.