Meet the Team: Giorgi Jmukhadze

Technical Manager, TCT Georgia


Gio bio


Originally from the mountains of Racha, Giorgi (Gio) studied food technology science and worked in a furniture making company before joining the TCT as a volunteer in Mestia in 2017. After experiencing life on the trails, Gio knew he’d found his place. In 2018, he went to Seattle to study trail building, sustainable trail design, and leadership with EarthCorps. He’s always looking for opportunities to improve his skills and gain more experience. Most recently, in autumn 2023, he spent 6 weeks in Argentina volunteering on a trail building project in the new Parque Patagonia with the Freyja Foundation. When he’s not in the field, he heavily supports all of Georgia’s national sports teams.


In Gio’s Words:

Why did you want to join the TCT? 

I wanted to work outside, and the TCT seemed like an interesting project. When the TCT started, hiking in Georgia was really new for Georgians. When I got to my first volunteer camp and started working, I realized how huge this project is. It can really change some people’s lives, so I wanted to join the team. 

If we have a good trail, hikers and travelers can have good experiences. And if they have good experiences, the locals benefit because hikers will keep coming back. So, in the long run, quality work and trail improvements make better experiences for hikers, and that will be good for Georgia. 

Favorite section of the TCT:

I’ve spent so much energy and so many days and years working in Zeskho, but for this I’ll say the trail near Shkmeri from the Oni side [in Racha]. The hike from Oni to Korta and Shkmeri is where I spent a lot of summers during my childhood, and I was the first one to scout that trail. I used to go there alone and see if there was any possibility of building a trail there, so that small section is kind of my finding. 

Favorite place in the Caucuses:

My house in Racha. I grew up there, and always wanted to go back there to work and maybe have a business. It’s a really nice part of the Caucasus with lovely people. Racha has really good hiking trails and is nice to visit, but Svaneti gets all the attention from hikers. Racha is not as explored as Svaneti, and it has a lot of potential as a hiking destination. 

Memorable moment:

In May 2023, Georgian and Armenian crew leaders took a Wilderness First Responder course, and everyone had a supra [Georgian feast] at the end. Because of the intensity of the training, we hadn’t had much time to spend together outside of the training sessions. After we got our certifications on the last day of the course, we had a supra and shared our cultures with each other. The Georgians and Armenians danced traditional dances, sang traditional songs, and taught each other to dance. Meagan shared some American folk music, too. Seeing this cultural exchange and how friendly Georgians and Armenians were to each other was wonderful.

Most special thing about the TCT:

The community and the chance to work with enthusiastic people to build a trail. In this kind of work, you need to be enthusiastic because you’re working in the forest or backcountry for a week or two. It takes patience, and you have to believe this work is important. Having a good community is definitely important. 

Why should people hike and get involved with the TCT?

The trail is unique and brand new in the Caucasus. There aren’t too many people here yet. Whoever hikes the trail now can be one of the first hikers to do a long distance hike in Georgia and Armenia. Throughout this amazing nature, there are cultures that haven’t been changed or affected by tourists. These two thingsnature and culturemake the TCT unique. 

The trail also crosses three countries in the Caucasus. It’s a small area if you look at it on a map, but each country has really different cultures, languages, religions, and attitudes. It’s nice to explore and discover these things for yourself.