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Gold Rush exclusive: Permafrost causes all sorts of problems for Parker Schnabel and his crew

On tonight’s Gold Rush, there are all kinds of fun problems for Parker Schnabel to solve.

The main issue is the topsoil is thawing but when his dozer hits a certain point, it’s ice cold frozen rock hard soil, and it is not budging for his heavy equipment.

Gold Rush miner Parker Schnabel is chasing a 6000 ounce $7.2 million dollars season gold, but after a failed attempt at mining his own ground, now we see that he is three weeks behind schedule and struggling.

Parker is filmed working inside his dozer and he says: “So far behind. We lost so much time this spring. Like I hate going into a cut and everything’s frozen… like this is a lesson on how not to mine!”

His enormous plant Sluicifer is running well over two hundred yards an hour, and the “smash and grab” approach that Parker is trying will only get him so far in his tally for the season gold.

Sluicifer’s running the only paydirt in the entire cut. But Parker’s running out of thawed pay to feed it.

Parker says: “This is frozen,” as he pulls up boulder-sized rocks that would destroy his wash plant if they hit the belt.

The plan? Parker Schnabel and his crew will open a monster cut twice the size of Ellis Island between his two wash plants to get to the gold-rich pay dirt.

But Parker’s crew must first rip through twenty feet of frozen overburden topsoil to melt it they can then strip away material to expose the gravels beneath where the gold is concentrated.

Parker explains what he is up against in tonight's frigid episode. Pic credit: Discovery
Parker explains what he is up against in tonight’s frigid episode. Pic credit: Discovery

His crewmate Brennan Ruault explains in detail what is happening with three dozers in play.

He says: “Oh yeah, as you can see we have three dozers running. I mean that’s crazy costly to do but there’s a hell of a lot of permafrost it’s a real pain in the ass.”

Apart from tonight’s drama, this top-rated series from Discovery has all sorts of new twists.

Former Schnabel crewmate Rick Ness is now on his own and realizing being boss is a very hard gig. Despite help from Karla, he is learning about managing costs the hard way.

Also, this season sees Parker and Tony Beets, the other popular miner on the series, fighting for water. And Parker saying that mining for Tony is bad business. Also this season, Todd Hoffman is no longer part of the action.

Last year the former Gold Rush star tipped Monsters and Critics to a potential new show he was working on with his producing partner to pitch to Discovery and other networks including Netflix and Amazon.

The premise of his show, as the former Gold Rush star revealed in our exclusive interview last October, was to see complete greenhorns (everyday amateur people) competing as miners to recover gold.

It was recently confirmed that the show is in development.

Watch tonight to see how Parker maneuvers the permafrost and gets to the gold-rich gravel.

Gold Rush airs Friday nights on Discovery Channel.

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April is an accredited entertainment writer, interviewer and television critic. She is a current member of the Television Critics Association (TCA), Gay and Lesbian Entertainment... read more
April Neale
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