Parker Schnabel witnesses perils of underground mining on Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail

On tonight’s Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail, Parker Schnabel visits a network of perilous subterranean mines which have claimed the lives of over a hundred miners.

The bodies of many of those who have perished inside the tunnels searching for gold have never been recovered.

Parker and cameraman Sam Brown witness the dangers first hand as they head inside, as Monsters and Critics’ exclusive clip shows.

The threat of collapse is ever-present, and fellow team-member Rick Ness turns down the offer of going in too, saying he’ll stay at the surface and wait instead.

To reach the veins of gold, Parker and Sam follow the hand-dug Marudi tunnels 200ft underground. The pair are full of questions as they ask their 24-year-old guide George how long he has worked in the mines, and are stunned when he reveals he began at the age of 12.

Parker is in awe as he looks around, saying: “The effort these guys have put in to find gold is unbelievable.”

Parker Schnabel
Parker marvels at the amount of labor used to make the hand-dug mines

George reveals how he and his fellow miners painstakingly mine the gold by following veins and taking it out of the rock using a chisel and hammer — gently, so the tunnels around don’t collapse on top of them.

He says two people have died in the very tunnels they are standing in, but that he feels confident in the structures he has put in place to hold up the walls.

“Definitely not a safe job,” says Parker. “I’ve never seen anything like this before. I just can’t believe it’s all done by hand…it’s something that in North America hasn’t been done in a hundred years.”

Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail airs Fridays at 9/8c on Discovery.

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