Core Team Members

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Tom Allen Expedition Leader

Tom Allen is a pioneering traveller, filmmaker, author, blogger, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He has undertaken challenging and remote journeys in more than 50 countries. He has produced three feature-length documentaries, published three books, and built a popular blog for sharing his projects and expeditions. He writes regularly for several geography- and outdoor-focused publications in the UK, speaks Armenian and Persian, and divides his time between the UK and Armenia. Tom will be leading the expedition on the ground, as well as being responsible for the storytelling element of the project.

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Vahagn Vardumyan Community Engagement

Vahagn is a regional expert and outdoor guide with an extensive knowledge of Armenia’s wilderness areas, in particular its nature reserves and wildlife refuges. His experience operating in protected areas and his knowledge of the regulations surrounding access to them will be of particular use when exploring such regions, as well as being able to advise on potential conservation issues in those areas, including rerouting if the trail would have a detrimental effect upon a particular area or if independent access would not be possible. 

Location Support

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Ale Mambelli GIS & Mapping

Alessandro Mambelli is an Italian robotics engineer and an avid hiker and adventure traveller. After graduating as an MSc from King’s College London, he moved to Armenia, where he was part of the team that built the IT infrastructure for an educational technology centre. A former Scout leader in Italy, Alessandro will be combining his passion for the outdoors with his experience in IT and engineering as the team’s GIS and mapping specialist, being responsible for the surveying and route publishing elements of the project. He speaks Armenian and is currently based in Yerevan.

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Zohrab Bauer Mountain Expert

Zohrab is an architect and member of Armenian Alpine Club. His expertise and interest lies in the link between architectural/natural environments and social interaction. He has been an outdoor lover for many years, and hiking, alpinism, climbing, biking and trail running are an important part of his life. Zohrab is familiar with the Armenian geography and is experienced in planning long distance hikes all year round at low and high altitudes. It is a pleasure for him to support the TCT team in planning and scouting hiking routes in Armenia. He speaks fluent Armenian, Russian, English and German and is based in Yerevan.

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Raffi Kojian Cultural Expert

Raffi Kojian is an acknowledged expert on the history and cultural heritage of the Caucasus, particularly Armenia and the regions historically inhabited by the Armenia people. He is the founder of, and co-author of the Rediscovering Armenia guidebook. Raffi has collected GIS data in more than 60 cities in over a dozen countries on behalf of Google, and is the creator of the Janapar Trail, a 16-stage hiking route through the region of Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan, currently the longest and most well-known back-country hiking trail in the Caucasus. Raised in southern California and of Armenian descent, he speaks fluent Armenian and is currently based in Yerevan.