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Washington Avalanche Survivor from Nevada County

A Nevada County native is one among 13 skiers caught-up in an avalanche Sunday in Washington.

Megan Michelson is an editor for ESPN and contributes to several skiing and lifestyle magazines.

FOX40 spoke with her mother in Nevada City.

“She said ‘Mom, I’m okay. I’ve been in a bad avalanche,’” said Evans Phelps, Michelson’s mother. “She does a lot of back-country skiing. They’re very experienced. Megan is a very level headed, smart girl.”

Michelson was one of 13 friends caught in the avalanche Sunday. Three did not survive.

“She knew everybody, and it’s very traumatic when you have to go into search mode,” Phelps said.

Phelps told FOX40 that Michelson is engaged to be married next month. Her fiancé was one of the skiing with her that day. He was uninjured as well.

FOX40 asked Phelps if she wants her daughter now to give up the back-country runs that can be so dangerous.

“I respect my daughter a lot, and what she does. You can’t tell your children what to do,” Phelps said.

Yes. But isn’t it hard?

“Of course it’s hard,” Phelps said. “But life is hard sometimes, isn’t it?”

One of the skiers is alive today because of an inflatable backpack that kept her above the snow, and left her room to breathe.

“As a mother, I told her I’d buy her a couple of those,” Phelps laughed. “And she promised not to do any back-country runs until that happened.”

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun