Friday, September 19, 2014

The end of a good run

Snowboarding instructor leaves legacy in the valley

Express Staff Writer

Carl Manus, right, teaches snowboarding at Dollar Mountain in 2005.
Express file photo

    If you asked Carl Manus how the powder was on any given winter day, he’d likely respond with “Purrrrfect” or “Dy-no-mite.”
    A latecomer to snowboarding, Manus made up for lost time by hitting the slopes nearly every day Bald Mountain was open. His shock of white hair and daring moves distinguished him to the Sun Valley ski regulars, and later as a snowboarding instructor on Dollar Mountain. His daughter Kerri said he once snowboarded for 131 days in a single winter—and the lifts were active for 130 of those days. Needing to squeeze in one last day out of the season, Carl hiked up.
    “He was so dedicated,” Kerri said.
    Carl died on Sept. 13 in Ketchum at age 84. His wife, Bunny, with whom he celebrated a 50th wedding anniversary in 2008, said he was healthy until the very end.    
    The Manus family lives in Hulen Meadows. Carl and Bunny moved their two young daughters from Laguna Beach, Calif., to Ketchum in 1974. The transition from a surfing scene to a snow sport one was culture shock for the entire family, except Carl.
    “Carl adapted instantly,” Kerri said.
    Lured to the area by the beautiful snow and a job offer at Scott Sports, Carl joined his fellow Scott employees on the mountain during snow season. Carl worked throughout the company for about two decades. When Scott relocated, Manus developed a goggle for Smith Optics and split his time between the two companies when Scott moved back to Ketchum in the mid-1980s.
    Carl was a skier until age 58, when he took up snowboarding. He took to the sport, and the snowboarding culture took to him. Manus’ talent, despite his advancing age, didn’t go unnoticed. During his heyday of the late 90s and early 2000s, Manus was featured on extreme sport and senior lifestyle advertisements across the country.
    Carl was hired by Sun Valley Co. and taught snowboarding on Dollar Mountain from 2005 to 2011. Carl worked really well with novice boarders—“never-evers,” as he called them, were his favorite.
    “He’d start them fresh, give them good beginning points,” Bunny said.
    To this day, Bunny and her daughters hear from Carl’s past students. She described two men, both at least 200 pounds, who’d never been on a snowboard before and went to Carl for instruction.
    “They progressed so quickly,” Bunny said. “By their second or third day, they were on Baldy.”
    Even before his teaching gig, Bunny said, he would meet with a crew of snowboarders at Irving’s Red Hots in Ketchum and go up for a day on the mountain.
    “That’s all he did,” she said. “He never stayed home.”
    As far as Carl was concerned, there was no need to go on vacation when he lived in paradise.
    “He’d tell people, ‘Shh, don’t tell anyone how great it is here,’” Kerri said.
    The final months of Carl’s life were “joy wrapped in celebration,” Bunny said. He walked his daughter Karla down the aisle just last month at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood in Ketchum and met his newborn granddaughters Avery Grace and Hayden Lenore.
    Services for Carl will be held at the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood on Sept. 27 at 2 p.m.

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