While the inner fleece of the Lizzy 3-in-1 is nothing extraordinary, it certainly kept me warm with extra cosiness around the neck collar, roomy pockets (there’s nothing worse than having my cold wrists poke out) and I like the peach-coloured accents on the zipper. It also connects really easily to the outer shell with clips and fasteners in all the right places so no fabric catches when you join it to the outer shell - hence, 3-in-1 one jacket.
Despite keeping the elements out, it still has really tiny ‘holes’ for great breathability too. The Lizzy is then ideal for sweatier mountain slogs in cool weather, when you need to simultaneously cool down and keep the cold off.
It styles pretty well too and the durable fabric doesn’t pick up anything on hikes, like those damn blackjacks that cover everything else. I'm being fussy now, but my perfect jacket would just be black or grey in colour so it’s a little snazzier.
The Hi-Tec Lady Lizzy 3-in-1 Jacket costs R1999, duesouth.co.za
The Sunset Trail begins at Champagne Castle. An institution in the valley, this hotel has been running since 1934 and this is one of the best trails to tackle according to hotel staff.
For the avid, there is always the Big Five. You'll get a certificate for each peak conquered and if you finish all five your name goes onto the honours roll. The peaks are all arduous though: Matterhorn (1995m), Gatberg (2408m), Amphlette (2620m), Sterkhorn (2973m) and Champagne Castle (3377m).
Hot to trot, the Valley’s highest mountain stay has an old-fashioned charm and views to die for. Winter treats include a heated towel rack, complimentary sherry, a heater, hot water bottles, and - the best part - fresh jam and scones served on the deck everyday between 3.30 and 4pm.
From R1960 per room full board or last-minute deals from R930 per person, champagnecastle.co.za
A little lower in the valley and set around a picturesque water feature, the new lakeside suites make for a sizzling self-catering retreat. You’ll find electric blankets and a heater, plus plenty of locals at the Dragon Pub. Join them at the fire for a glass of gluhwein.
From R670 per person sharing, dragonpeaks.com
A scorching escape, this cosy cottage is just a little way out from the valley and perfect for those after some country solitude. There’s a fireplace, hot water bottles, electric blankets, a Nespresso machine and (the most thoughtful little extra) a packet of microwave popcorn too.
From R1150 per night, thegoodlandcottages.co.za