Gopal Thapa was born on a starry moonlit night 36 years ago in the pretty village of Phulkharka [Dhading district] which nestles in the laps of the towering Ganesh Himal and the nearby mighty Manaslu peak. Dhading is known for its scenic landscapes and thriving agriculture. Born into a large family of four brothers, two sisters and parents, Gopal’s mother and father are farmers by profession who tilled the land to rear and educate their children.
Nepal’s beautiful but extreme geographical conditions sometimes compel families in mountainous regions to make tough decisions with limited choices that give more preference to income sources over the academic – Gopal attended the local village government school and went on to complete his high school with a School Leaving Certificate [SLC] in 2001. This is where Gopal’s story began on the wings of a prayer in the risky world of Nepal’s daredevil adventure circuits…
Gopal could have pursued further education after completing high school, but soon discovered the drums of destiny in life were beating on the mountains; and began working as a freelance porter at an early age in the same year he completed his high school; he soon learned the hard way about the mountains where he grew up as a child.
“My parents wanted me to stay with the books and earn a degree. In my childhood days, I actually enjoyed hiking 4 km every day to school and back! I simply loved the wonderful views of lush terraced farms, dancing waterfalls, the warm smiles of the teasing elders of my village, the sweet chirping of the birds and most of all…the never ending sights of the mighty Himalayas. This is what conquered my heart and I soon forgot the books.” [Quote: Gopal]
Gopal Thapa attended a Trekking Guide Training course and was soon elevated to a Government Licensed Guide [a license considered very important in this part of the world] in 2008. Having become a full blown government recognized guide, Mr. Thapa soon learned how much the mountains teach us about life, and aimed for the high Himalayan skylines he watched as a child. Gopal soon began climbing Nepal’s famous trekking peaks – this included Island peak, Mera peak, Lobuche East/West, Pisang peak, Thorung peak,Chulu West and Yala peak. The road to success in this part of the world is always a thorny one and Mr. Thapa knew his first arduous journey on the complex trails of life began in the year 2001, but this was only the beginning to a long and winding road to the pinnacle of success. With his successful accomplishment of climbing peaks, Gopal knew the next best thing to do was to obtain a mountain climbing certification and this was achieved in 2011 with a prestigious mountain climbing course conducted by the Nepal Mountaineering Association [NMA].
Mr. Thapa, Armed with well earned Government of Nepal Certificates for Trekking and Climbing, knew that the time had finally come to define his own destiny.
Gopal knew if he truly loved his country and its extraordinary natural beauty, he would have to operate an unrivalled range of adventures throughout the Himalaya in Nepal and across the borders into India, Tibet and Bhutan; and to do this, Mr. Thapa would have to lead from the front. This ultimately paved the way for Gopal to establish his own company ‘Leaf Holiday Treks & Expedition P. Ltd’ in the year 2014 –and with this epic achievement, Mr. Thapa’s journey through the trials and trails of life came around full circle.
“In my childhood, when I saw the early morning bright sunshine rise over the huge Ganesh Himal from my village home, I felt the wilderness of the Himalayas was calling me. I had no experience in the tourism sector, but I knew I would have to walk out of my safe home to enjoy the sunshine,and so I did, and my company ‘Leaf Holiday Treks’ was born. Today we are a leading trek operator for Mt. Kailash Tibet Tours. It’s now almost two decades since I first started, and we will not look back.” [Quote: Gopal]
Mr. Gopal Thapa is known among his clients for his large physical appearance which they lovingly say is as large as the mountains he climbs, with a friendly and kind heart as big as an elephant. Gopal is also known for personally saving the lives of several of his guests and friends while on risky adventurous journeys above the tree-lines.
“Our itineraries are exceptionally planned to offer extraordinary experiences for our clients while ensuring they are always safe to go home and tell stories of amazing discoveries to generations on the way. Our company is structured to provide career and educational opportunities and our trekking crew are always prepared for the unexpected. Our support programs generously give back to our communities in the areas we visit, and all this while our guests enjoy the spirit of adventure on the way.” [Quote: Gopal]
Today, Gopal Thapa and his company “Leaf Holiday Treks & Expedition” ,are on the front-line of Nepal’s Tourism sector with avenues to go even further in a beautiful country where hope and destiny sees a bright future in Nepal’s global success as a leading destination for some of the most famous adventure circuits on planet earth…
“I have always believed that life is dare to dream big…and only by taking risks do dreams turn into reality…for me life is an adventure, or nothing!” [Quote: Gopal]