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Gjende or Gjendin is a lake in the Jotunheimen approximately 984 meters above the sea. The proglacial lake shows typical characteristics of glacial formation, being long and narrow, with steep walls and 18 km in length and only 1.5 km in width at the broadest point. Gjende has a characteristic light-green color resulting from the large quantity of rock flour which is discharged into the Gjende by the Muru river. The Sjoa river provides the outlet from Gjende at Gjendesheim, and flows eastward into the Gudbrandsdalslågen river.

Gjende lies in the middle of Jotunheimen National Park and both to the north and south of the lake lie peaks greater than 2,000 meters. There are numerous staffed tourist cabins maintained by the Norwegian Mountain Touring Association (DNT); in the west end lies Gjendebu, on the north side lies Memurubu and on the east end lies Gjendesheim. In the summer boats provide transport between these locations.

Lake Gjende is found in literature and travel books from the 18th century. Together, the Jotunheimen lakes of Gjende and Bygdin play in many such descriptions. For example Henrik Ibsen´s Peer Gynt took his famous wild-reindeer ride along "the Gjendin Ridge", a reference to either the narrow Besseggen Ridge - or the Knutshø ridge on the other side of lake Gjende.

The official name Gjende is taken from the Gudbrandsdal traditional district dialect used in Lom and Vågå. In the Vang dialect the lake is called Gjendin, which is the form you find in Henrik Ibsen´s name for what is now called Besseggen, formerly Gjendineggen, or Gendineggen in the older orthography. The name Gjende is derived from the old Norse word "gandir" that can be translated into "straight stick", whereas the lake to the south Bygdin can be translated as "bent stick", the two names thereby referring to the shape of the lakes.


 Vågå
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