Barbegazi are mythical creatures from Swiss and French mythology.
A type of gnome from Swiss folklore, they resided in the mountainous regions between France and Switzerland; the Alps. The name probably is a corruption of barbes glacées meaning 'frozen beards'.
Preferring the tops of the mountains, the barbegazi resembled the typical gnome except for their large feet and the fact that their hair and beards resembled thick growths of icicles. They thrived only in the coldest of weather provided by these mountain tops, hibernating in Summer and becoming active in Winter; blizzard season. No sightings have been recorded when the temperature was above zero. Nor have any sightings taken place below to tree line.
Mountaineers were said to have captured more than one of these creatures on their ventures but none survived for more than a few hours when taken out of their climate. In such cases the icicle growths melt, revealing normal hair underneath. Reported observations, however, have demonstrated such skills as swift digging. A barbegazi can bury themselves in thick snow in a few seconds or dig themselves out no matter the depth. A trait that has caused many to believe that they enjoy riding avalanches. Their big feet has also been seen to act as skis or snowshoes, allowing unhindered travel.
Accounts have also atoned to them wearing garments of white fur like a modern jumpsuit. Their habitats are send to be networks of caves and tunnels accessible near the peaks of mountains through concealed entrances. The most well known activity of the barbegazi is the warnings they give to humans of hazards. They can make whistling noises such as marmots or an eerie hooting noise, which may be mistaken for gusts of wind, to warn hikers of avalanches. They may also attempt to dig out people trapped by snowfall or herd lost sheep back to their owners. Despite these beneficial activities their attitudes towards humans are still uncertain.
A barbegazi stands more than 1 feet tall and weighs about 5 pounds.