A SCOTTISH adventurer has become the first European to walk from North Africa's highest point to the sea through the Atlas mountains.

Alice Morrison and her guide Rachid Ait Elmahjoub completed the gruelling 186-mile hike in 12 days, walking for up to 18 hours a day.

The pair crossed snow-streaked mountain slopes well away from the tourist trail before descending down to the desert plains and the Atlantic coast.

It is believed that the trek is the first time a route has been found through the mountains, with the walk stretching from the 13,000 ft Mount Toubkal to Agadir on the Atlantic ocean .

Ms Morrison said: “Physically, it was an enormously tough challenge. We went from the snow to burning sun, and were always looking for places to replenish our water.

"The ascents were lung-bursting but it was the descents over the rocks and ravines that really ravaged our legs and feet.

"After the second day we left “tourist” Morocco behind and in many places, I was the first Western person to have passed through. I have never made so many babies cry in my life.”

The 52-year-old, who is from Edinburgh but is now based in Marrakesh, has previously completed the longest bike race in the world, The Tour D’Afrique, and the Marathon Des Sables through the Sahara, the toughest footrace on earth.

Ait Elmahjoub added: “The other mountain guides said they did not think we could do it. But we kept going and then finally we reached the sea. Everywhere we went, people shared their food and water and hospitality with us. This is how life works in the Atlas mountains.”

The trip was organised and sponsored by adventure travel company Epic Morocco, which runs tailor-made tours and trips throughout the country and also major corporate events.

The company's CEO said: “We wanted to open up a potential new route in Morocco. This is one of the most beautiful areas in Africa but no-one has attempted the full crossing before. It is brilliant to get a British-Berber first.”