Living the Epic Spirit of Adventure
Adventure is at the heart of what we stand for at Epic; pushing further, being bolder and by doing so opening yourself up to new experiences and sensations through travel.
Alice Morrison, friend of founder Charlie Shepherd and a BBC journalist, is well respected in the world of adventure and widely published with a passion for Morocco and strong spirit of adventure. We have sponsored Alice on her quest to explore some of the more exciting challenges in the region – something that she has been able to achieve through a combination of inner resilience (there is nothing she can’t do with grit and focus), and helped by a fluency in Arabic.
“Epic Morocco and Charlie Shepherd are actually the reason that I ended up living in Morocco and becoming a full time Adventurer. I came to do a trans-Atlas cycling trip with Epic and met Charlie and then he persuaded me into running the Marathon des Sables, the toughest footrace on earth, with him and then I liked it so much I stayed! What I love about Epic is that it gives you a genuinely authentic experience and shows you things and takes you to places that you just wouldn’t find on your own. I also love the team, they are so committed and so much fun to be with.”
Epic designs both low and high impact adventure travel, whether it’s about injecting a bit of adventure into a more standard travel plan or tailor-making more professional hiking tours and bike trails for groups of more active adventurers.
You can read more about Alice’s Epic Sponsored Adventures in her books:
Alice’s Atlas to Atlantic World First:
A challenge to trek from the highest point in North Africa, Mount Toubkal, 350 kilometres straight across the Atlas Mountains to the lowest point on the Atlantic coast in Agadir.
Alice and Rachid Ait Elmahjoub (one of our Epic guides) became the first people ever to walk from the Roof of North Africa to the sea, exploring new routes across the mountains stopping at hidden valleys and rural Berber villages along the way.
The team were entirely self-supporting, carrying all their own kit and supplies, and had to keep a careful watch on where water might be refilled searching for places to camp or simple lodgings to stay at along the way, relying on the warmhearted nature of Moroccan people to help them source food from tiny villages and farms.
Founder Charlie Shepherd explains why he wanted to back the expedition; “Epic stands for the more adventurous spirit in everyone, we built our business on the spirit of exploration and with the values of resilience and mutual respect. This adventure represented for us a way to showcase the natural beauty of Morocco and diversity of the geography – no one has ever crossed the whole way across from the highest point to the lowest, but I knew Rachid and Alice would do it.”
What struck the expedition team was the ability to trust in human nature, that you can survive not on your own but through the generosity of others.
“At one stage, on a baking hot deserted piste, we were getting really thirsty and worried then we saw a shepherd in the distance. He came running over the hills with his flock to share a bottle of water with us. We would not have made it without the help of the mountain people,” said Alice.
The expedition took 12 days in total from its beginning on the summit of Mount Toubkal (4167m). The team were walking for up to 18 hours a day. The temperatures were extreme: from the snows on Toubkal to 43 degrees as they came across towards Agadir. The terrain was rough and often treacherous, with sharp boulders, river crossings, tough ascents, and long, slippery descents.
From Morocco to Timbuktu – An Arabian Adventure
You may have caught this next expedition of Alice’s on BBC 2 in May of 2017 in the UK, it was a really successful series which trailed the historic salt roads that cross Morocco from North to South and right down across the Sahara.
Epic were brought on board by Alice and the team from Tern TV to provide on the ground planning and support, including sorting all firm permits and making sure the whole show ran smoothly throughout. Charlie and Simo were out on the road to make it happen and tie all together, and one of our guides Saaid Naana got to play a starring role alongside Alice as he guided her across the mountains.
The series starts in Tangier, then travels down through Fez and Marrakech and across the Atlas Mountains, through traditional camel markets of Guelmim and on through the Sahara to the ancient, lost city of Sijilmassa.
From Source to Sea – Draa Valley Expedition
Alice’s January 2019 Moroccan expedition explored the Draa River beginning at its source near Ourzazate and following a route 1200km to the sea. She became the first woman in history to complete the route. An underlying theme for the expedition was the disappearing ways of life in the region and effect of man on earth’s water supply as part of a wider discourse on global climate change.
The expedition took Alice through Morocco, the tiger of Africa, into a world of lush date palmeraie and earth-baked ancient kasbahs and ksours. She was accompanied through the desert by her Amazigh companions, nomadic travellers who know how to survive on these kinds of treks. Large areas of the country are now lying deserted because of lack of water, their populations gone and land barren.
On the 3 month trek, Alice discovered rock carvings in the gorges and mountains of the wilderness, a distant reminder of past civilizations, troglodyte caves and immersed herself in nomad culture, and what it takes to live a challenging life on the road.
Her route took her from the El Mansour Eddahibi dam, through the rich agriculture of the Draa valley to the arid desert dunes and salt lakes of the south and across to end at the Atlantic just south of Tan Tan.
To book a more adventurous take on either Morocco or Portugal at whatever level, contact epic at email@example.com