'Gold Rush: Alaska' miners facing winter weather and losing seasons

As the season winds down, Todd remains hopeful, Parker is discouraged, and Fred is as ornery as ever.

Again, the Hoffman crew seems to be losing the battle against the elements in their quest to find gold, with winter closing in fast and gold not cooperating as they would like. The gold may be there—they need 30 more ounces to hit 100—but their pay dirt is frozen.

“The only thing we can do is go from noon ‘til five or one til’ six, something like that,” Dave Turin advises Todd, hoping that the 11-hours of daylight will thaw out their pay dirt enough for mining. But, their pan-master, Jim Thurber, has some good news for them, at least, in his gold pan. “I’ve never panned raw gold like that,” he says, showing Todd some larger-than usual chunks.

Now, if the weather will just cooperate.

“Dude, we’re not done,” Todd assures a concerned Thurber, who is afraid that the newly discovered pocket of gold will be lost to the harsh Canadian weather. “We have plenty of time.”

But nobody believes that—not the Hoffman team and certainly not viewers, who are hoping against hope that the guys will get on the gold this year at their Klondike paystreak.

“This is what I’ve been frickin’ hoping for right here,” Todd says of the new streak uncovered by Thurber.

Meanwhile, back at Porcupine Creek in Alaska, Dakota Fred is pushing son Dustin, who is violently ill, to work despite the fact he can barely sit up—and not with good consequences. Fred’s beloved de-rocker takes a hit from a mistake by the sick Dustin, and ends up with a gigantic boulder demolishing the much-needed machine. The ripped-through wing-wall means that gold and dirt will fall right through the side of the machine. If the Dakota Boys are not able to find a fix, they may as well pack it up and go home for the winter.

At the Big Nugget Mine, Parker Schnabel is working with his dad to try and fix his loader, which Parker ran out of fuel, causing debris to get into the lines. It is easy to see that Parker is discouraged with his situation—and not just about the loader. His dad, Roger, does get the loader running again, but Parker’s inability to make a profit over the season is seeping through in his words about the loader. “I guess I didn’t fix anything,” he says. “I just break things.”

The latest episode of Gold Rush airs tonight on the Discovery Channel at 9 p.m.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Video: Discovery Channel, Gold Rush