‘Gold Rush’: Parker Schnabel Explained How His Childhood Created His Competitive Mindset

by Courtney Blackann

Every Discovery fan knows of “Gold Rush” It’s by far one of the network’s most popular shows. And while gold mining in the Klondike is not always rainbows and sunshine, it definitely has a more interesting side to it. But in order to compete in this business you must have a bit of a competitive edge. For the young Parker Schnabel, who’s been running a crew for a number of years now, this comes easily. That’s because he was always pretty competitive as a child.

In an interview some years ago, Schnabel opened up to Hidden Remote about his childhood experiences and how they helped shaped the gold miner he is now. While the industry is certainly not for the faint of heart, it’s something Schnabel has been a part of since he was 15-years-old. So the “Gold Rush” star is no newbie to the industry.

So what incited his competitive spirit? Well, he can trace that back to his days as a Boy Scout. His favorite part of the club?

“Probably Derby races at the Cub Scouts. You have to take a block of wood and add wheels and weights to it, and I won that,” Schnabel says.

While Schnabel is young and hungry, he’s also not stupid. He regularly likes to strikes deals with other, more experienced guys in the industry to ensure that his team will have a big payout in the end. However, there’s one deal he made with veteran Tony Beets that makes him question whether it was the right call or not.

“Gold Rush” Stars Share Risks in Gold Mining

Being able to mine in a specific area means paying out royalties – which don’t always seem like a great deal.

“The deal we’ve got with Tony is a little bit weird on the old royalty front,” the “Gold Rush” star explains. “So like on the ground by the airstrip, it’s 15 percent on the first 1,500 ounces. And then it goes up five percent every 1,500 ounces after that per plant. I don’t understand the rationale behind it. Whatever. I’ve argued it for years. They [Beets] don’t budge on it, so I’m done talking to a wall about it.”

However, the competition has to be fierce on the show. There wouldn’t be a good plot line unless there was some tension between each crew.

This is something that producers finagle to make sure that there’s a good balance of conflict and triumph in each episode – not that any part of the show is faked. However, where’s the appeal without some tension?

One crew member reiterates this when they say:

“How do we make the stories of guys who dig in the ground and wash rocks and look for little bits of metal—how do we make that interesting year after year,” producer Ed Gorsuch says in an interview with Reality Blurred. “And come up with a story that people want to see?”