An adventurer is on top of the world after becoming the first European to reach the summit of a notoriously difficult mountain.

David Spear and his three female guides successfully tackled Nonoy Tepui in Venezuela.

Without having a flag to commemorate the achievement, David had to use toilet roll to tie to bushes at the top to mark the ascent.

This also helped the group to find its way back down as there was no well-defined path.

Nonoy Tepui stands at about 3,000 feet, which puts it on a par with the tallest mountains in Britain.

However, the table-topped peak is only accessible by river and a trek through dense rainforest or by helicopter.

With the exception of one party which had previously landed a helicopter at the summit, David's group became the first to witness the unique habitat at the plateau.

Because of the mountain's inaccessibility, the wildlife has evolved unhindered for thousands of years.

David, 42, who lives in Cuckfield, Haywards Heath, originally travelled to Venezuela with a party from the Children's Society to trek up the more accessible Mount Roraima near Venezuela's borders with Guyana and Brazil.

But when the rest of the party returned to Britain after the week-long journey, David, a director of a furniture company, felt the need for a fresh challenge.

The local Pamon people were not particularly interested in the challenge. But one of them did join David's party to carve a path through the jungle with a machete.

David said: "It was hot and there were lots of insects. I got one in my eye which the Pamon had to hoik out with a piece of grass. That was quite unpleasant.

"We were elated when we got to the top, especially the girls because it had eluded them for so long. This had been a quest of theirs for years."