Alexander Smith had been lost for six hours after falling off a ledge 1,500 metres up the Ornella mountain range in the Dolomites.
With the temperature plunging to minus 10C, the 36-year-old sent a text message to his mother in Matlock pleading for help.
Alexander, who's from south London, was rescued by police - just as he was walking straight for the edge of the mountain.
His mother, Carol, said: "I
didn't even know he had gone skiing!"