For the week of February 3, 1999  thru February 9, 1999  

Otto Tschudi marks 50th birthday in style

Friends salute Norwegian skier at Roosevelt Tavern

Otto Tschudi must live right.

His 50th birthday party highlighted by a fabulous Norwegian black-tie sit-down dinner at The Roosevelt Tavern in Ketchum Jan. 23 was a memorable weekend.

A gathering of friends in his beloved Sun Valley. A dinner party for 60. Great drink and food. Stories of the old times. Lots of laughs. And a powder day on Baldy.

The powder day was icing on Otto’s birthday cake because of the people he attracted to Ketchum from all over the globe.

"It was a pretty elite skiing group—some of the real legends of the skiing world," said Kathy Carson of Ketchum, whose husband Paul Carson was a World Pro Skiing racer 20 years ago with Tschudi.

Deer Valley’s Stein Eriksen, who Tschudi idolized as a youngster, made the trip through the snow.

Reliving their national ski team and pro skiing days were Paul Carson, Doug Woodcock, Billy Shaw, Terry Palmer, Ken Corrock and Dan Mooney.

They were there for Tschudi, born Jan. 22, 1949 in Oslo, Norway.

A two-time skiing Olympian for Norway, Tschudi raced on scholarship at Denver University and won five NCAA titles. He turned pro in 1972 and loved the fast life of traveling and racing and partying.

Sun Valley has always been an American home to Tschudi because, as Kathy Carson said, "everything in his life that is important to him happened in Sun Valley."

On Christmas Eve 1974, he met his future wife Yvonne and future boss Thom Weisel coincidentally on the same day. Yvonne and Otto were married in 1978 in Norway. His daughter Solveig was conceived in Hailey and born in 1979. She is now a student at Denver University.

Yvonne told Otto to get a "real job" in 1982. Otto complied and enlisted with Weisel’s Montgomery Securities in San Francisco.

These days, Tschudi is working for Thom Weisel Partners. This coming spring he and Yvonne will move to London, England where Otto will manage Weisel’s office and be closer to his parents in Norway.

Late last year, Paul and Kathy Carson were running one day and started talking about Otto’s forthcoming 50th birthday. The idea just grew. Otto and Yvonne created the guest list. An amazing number of Otto’s friends showed up.

Overnight snow created a great powder day on Saturday. The group started the day with a fun treasure hunt on Baldy, searching for six clues hidden by Carson.

That night, they converged on The Roosevelt Tavern for Tom Nickel’s Smoked Norwegian Salmon, wine provided by Otto’s friends and some dancing to a raging band from Colorado. There were toasts and songs and everything that’s good about living right.

Tavern owner Nickel got into the spirit of the evening by carving out a Scandinavian-like winter scene on the Roosevelt outdoor balcony. The fire pits were raging. When the partygoers wanted a break from the music, they went upstairs and stood around the fire—looking up at the cold, clear sky of Sun Valley, Idaho.

Kathy Carson said, "Tom Nickel did an amazing job. It was just a real nice weekend."


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