Skier buried by an avalanche survives

Emily Anderson

She was buried by an avalanche, but survived. Now a young woman is talking about what happened when a wall of snow came down and covered her on a mountain in Washington State.

Emily Anderson had just finished one of the best runs of her life on Crystal Mountain, but a lifetime of skiing didn't prepare the 20-year-old Allyn resident for what happened next.

"I saw a slide break underneath my feet and I heard it. There was nothing I could do. It just started to sweep me off," recalled Anderson. "I remember going down and not being able to stop and going 'Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh.'"

"My first reaction was I could easily die right here," she said.

A small avalanche hit Tuesday afternoon in the Northway portion of Crystal Mountain, soon after the gates opened. Emily was skiing in bounds with her friend Will when the wall of snow came down. Will was able to escape it, but the snow swept Emily into a tree well.

"I was able to free my left arm to scoop snow away from my mouth, so I made a little air pocket," said Anderson. "I prayed a lot and just sat there and waited to be rescued. It was kind of an eerie feeling because I couldn't hear anybody above me, so I wasn't sure if I was alone or there were people looking."

She was buried for 15 minutes, barely able to move, barely able to breathe until the ski patrol and other skiers found her.

Believe it or not, the young woman who could have easily died on the mountain can't wait to get back there.

(Information courtesy NBC News)