LAKE TAHOE, Calif. -- A woman buried in an avalanche says she's alive because of the help she received from a stranger.
Janet He spoke to CBS News Sacramento, saying she was skiing at California's Palisades Tahoe resort on Wednesday when she was suddenly swept away.
Joseph Lu captured video moments after the deadly avalanche that killed one person rushed through the KT-22 area of Palisades.
His wife Janet was no where to be found.
"And I don't see her," Lu said. "I'm yelling and yelling and when I realize what may happen, it struck me, so I was using my ski pole frantically punch everywhere and yelling her name."
It was just seconds before that Janet was right behind him when she says she felt the ground slip away.
"The snow was already kind of moving my feet, kind of took me away and swept me off the mountain," He said.
Caught in the avalanche, she fell about 200 feet down the mountain and was buried, Janet remembers.
"I couldn't pull myself up because the snow was so heavy on top of me and I was buried, my face buried in the snow and lucky I had the face mask, so I had some air in the face mask," He said.
In that moment, she knew she could only be still.
"So, I tell myself to calm down," she said. "'Don't panic,' I think because if I panic, I use more air."
Stuck in the snow, she heard a voice from above, another skier at her rescue.
"He says, no worries, I got you," she said. "I think that's the best thing I ever heard in my life I feel like."
Janet snapped a photo with the man who saved her life, processing it all in real time.
"I survived. I could walk. It's okay, I can walk out," He said.
The couple walked down the mountain with no injuries, realizing then and now how lucky they are to be alive.
"The risk is inherent. We all know," Lu said. "We just need to respect the mountain, respect the risks that associate with that."
The couple are now holding each other closer.
"You realize time and life, how treasured it is," Lu said.
It was a close call with an unstoppable force of nature that couldn't wipe away both love and devotion between husband and wife, and even the kindness of a stranger.
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