Barbegazi are beings from Swiss mythology that look somewhere between gnomes and Abominable Snowmen. They live in tunnels in the alps between Switzerland and France. They love to frolic in deep snow in the coldest winter months, but sleep away the warmer months.
Their massive feet are their most notable feature, which they use like snowshoes or skis. They love to surf avalanches and often start them for the fun of it. Though they are known caretakers of the mountains, humans rarely see them since they can dig themselves into and out of massive piles of snow in seconds to hide or play.
Despite their reluctance to be seen, they do communicate with St. Bernards, leading the dogs to rescue climbers trapped in the freezing snow.