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Canadian dies on Manaslu, was known for mental health advocacy and kindness

"A true gentleman, he was one of the most enthusiastic, humble, kind and prepared teammates we’ve ever had the pleasure of climbing with"

A Canadian climber who died on Manaslu, the world’s eighth-highest peak, was known in B.C. as an advocate for mental health and awareness.

Expedition organizers said that on Sept. 30, Brent Seal, 37, died after collapsing on his way from camp four to the summit at 7,450 metres. Nearly 200 climbers are attempting to climb the 8,163-metre Nepal mountain this season.

“His body has been airlifted to Kathmandu. It is suspected that he suffered a sudden heart attack,” Bodha Raj Bhandari of Snowy Horizon Treks and Expedition said after his passing.

Climbing the Seven Summits and the Seal family released a statement, saying: We are deeply saddened to acknowledge the tragic passing of valued Manaslu team member and experienced mountaineer Brent Seal (37) from Langley, British Columbia, Canada. Brent climbed strongly throughout the summit bid and the entire expedition. He was in good spirits, eating, drinking and talking with his guide prior to a sudden collapse during a rest stop. Emergency first aid & CPR was administered at the scene, but was unsuccessful. Brent was a quintessential and highly experienced climber who had been mountaineering since he was young. Brent successfully climbed several of the world’s highest and most challenging peaks including Aconcagua (2016), Denali (2016), and Pico de Orizaba (2019). He also conquered many peaks closer to home, and especially loved climbing throughout the Squamish region. A true gentleman, he was one of the most enthusiastic, humble, kind and prepared teammates we’ve ever had the pleasure of climbing with.

In 2007, while studying at Simon Fraser University, Seal was diagnosed with schizophrenia after an attempted suicide. After his recovery, he went on to graduate as valedictorian, compete in a number of ultramarathons, and climb Aconcagua and Denali, both in 2016.

Seal also founded Mavrixx, a Vancouver-based organization that focused on redefining mental health by providing education and workshops to promote optimism in the face of struggles and setbacks. He dedicated his life to supporting people with mental health challenges and by sharing his lived experiences, inspired them to take control of their mental health and wellness, and live great lives. In 2020, he published a video called The Power of Struggle, which discussed how comfort doesn’t promote growth or fulfillment, watch below.

Fall season in the Himalayas present a different set of difficulties than the spring, with short days, colder conditions, snowier terrain and a small summit window. This spring saw over 700 foreign climbers head to Nepal for climbing season.

We are proud to have had him as part of our team and are deeply saddened and shocked by his passing. Our focus is in supporting his loved ones during this unimaginably difficult time and we ask for your assistance in this by respecting their privacy.

Our condolences go to Seal’s family and friends.

Brent Seal talks about the power of struggle