Gold Rush: Is Rick Ness leaving Parker to mine on his own?

Gold Rush's Rick Ness from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Discovery Channel

It’s been an amazing season of mining for Parker Schnabel and his team on Discovery’s Gold Rush. Schnabel made some smart risks putting his foreman Rick Ness on his own mining site and it is paying off big, but not without drama. Ness was caught in a firestorm of criticism when he bypassed his boss (Schnabel) and changed the mining plan. The move nearly got him fired.

“Sometimes you’ve just got to go with your gut, you know. If things aren’t working and you’re getting yelled at for it, what are you going to do?” Ness says, defending his actions. “You can’t just keep doing the same damn thing. … I’m certainly no geologist but it just wasn’t making sense. After beating our heads against the wall, running that side for weeks. It was just madness.”

On Friday, Feb. 16 at 8/7c the series will air live and will include “the biggest announcement in the show’s history.” Ness, who was traveling with the show’s publicist at the time of this interview, was in the dark in regards to what the big announcement was about and was actually trying to get details for himself.

“I can’t get any answers either,” he tells us. “You know, this whole  – somebody’s going to make this big statement or what. They won’t even tell me what it is and trust me I was bugging Phil [the show’s publicist] about it today.”

Ness does promises some “jaw-dropping moments” for the remainder of the season. Here he answers a few of our questions.

How ready are you to break out from Parker and mine a claim on your own? Do you feel like you’re ready? I mean, there’s been a lot of talk about that. I’d love to say yes, but I mean there’s so much there that I don’t know. I feel like I’ve learned a lot in the last six or seven years that I’ve been doing this, but I don’t know anything about the business side. There’s so much cost there and there’s so much risk there. I do well where I’m at, and you know, it would be a scary thing, quite honestly. It really would. Is it in the cards? I don’t know. Who knows?

What do you do off season? Do you have a different job back in Milwaukee? Pretty much when I do Gold Rush that’s six months straight. I don’t take days off. I’m working like 80 to 100 hours a week. … week in and week out. And you’re in a very remote spot and you’re very disconnected from the rest of the world, and your family, and friends. It’s a huge commitment, quite honestly. … So pretty much the other six months is kind of like my weekend.

Rick Ness’ hand holding pay with gold in it.

You met Parker at the Alaskan State Fair when your band was performing, had you already been watching Gold Rush — how’d you end up on the show? I had watched the first season of Gold Rush. And when I landed in Haines for that State Fair I had no idea. I did find out from one of the promoters and eventually he introduced me to Parker. But Parker wasn’t really on the show at that point. I just kind of wanted to pick his brain about just the whole gold mining thing. Like a lot of people I watched that first season and I was just intrigued, and I wanted to find a way to spend the summer up there. That’s basically all I was looking for. It’s just a beautiful area. The following season I watched Gold Rush and there was the 16-year-old kid that I had met in Haines, Alaska. He was on it. And we texted back and forth a little bit, and I never really thought I’d hear from him again. But then right out of the blue he called me up and offered me a job for Season 3. He basically said, “I’ll give you the job but you’ve got 12 days to get here.” And so, I was just like, “OK, I’m on it.” And I kind of just tied up some loose ends, threw all my stuff in my truck, and just went up there.

If you were to comprise your dream team of miners (no feelings hurt), who are three people that you would absolutely have to have? I would go with Gene Cheeseman, Mitch Blaschke and Freddy Dodge.


    • paker 16 year old blablabla fucking like him sincehe lost his deippers has been working for his grandfather pplbitch but he a smart kids ask tony whith the low blows he gave parker and parker finish lafing at they end whith Gene yes parker his hard on his guys but if youre working under tony claim you have no choice love rick to hope he stays whith parker and parker girl is amazinly cute nice i seen all the shows the one ilove the most his the one you see what we didint see how hard tony whas to work for if you did not see that shows you miss everything you need to see about parker and yes he got help 100 once of his grandfathers gold he put that gold in fucking party he made it work whith his crew and he is doing a grate job go parkee go hope the best for you rick and the rest pf the crew

      • Rick his a good worker looks like a fun guy to hang whithparker to a chance whith Rick it was good one. i am sure that Rick get a good bonus like he deserves. hope the two of you can laught at that and give us a knew good 10.000 once nex season i am
        brick masson . was a labber for 10 years big 10 stories high after lift driver you need a guy i whould go and work 1 week to show you guys i got what it takes free mabe get a job down there and see my ass on the show anyway stay togeter rick and parker
        you guys will end up the best of friends i no it Rick keep on doing what youre doing go get 10.000 once and be the best you can be go go ( parker and Rick gold rush ) go guys smash them all

  1. Hi Rick,
    I’m a 67 year old Inventor/Scientist/Engineer. I have many great ideas for your washplant…Like hydraulic wheels that come down when moving. Would save days of set-up. Have many more…Hire me and we can implement all the best ideas.

  2. Rick appears to be hardest worker on the show. How much of the shows confrontation is to keep people watching? Rick working for Tony Beets helping Mike get the new dredge going would create interest for next season.

    • no way come on guys Rick need to stay whit parker
      parker is going to change 10.000 once next year
      parker and Rick gold rush tony does’nt care about no one but him self thats all folks

  3. Rick is parkers brain, Parker is great at getting into a machine when camera is around just like Todd Hoffman. Maybe if they would have had to start out like Tony Beets using their own money they would be as good as Tony and his family. Nothing like using your hard earned money without the pay from a reality show to start and succeed at a dream.

  4. Parker is great entrepreneur and has accomplished a lot so far. I can’t wait to see the day where Beets has to grovel to Parker for land, equipment or anything, that guy is mean just for fun. Not good.

  5. This for me is one of the best shows on TV. It does feel that because Parker and Todd don’t get along the show is starting to slip. Be adults fellows and get along For God’s. SAKE

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