‘Gold Rush’ Star Rick Ness Describes Why Skill Trumps Luck in Gold Mining

by Michael Freeman
(Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Discovery Inc.)

When thinking about the gold mining profession, one can’t help but note luck’s importance. However, according to Gold Rush star Rick Ness, skill trumps luck for the craft.

Speaking to Hollywood Soapbox about the new spinoff, Gold Rush: Winter’s Fortune, Ness talked in depth about a number of subjects. While it’s difficult to deny luck playing a large role in success, he insists knowledge and skill surpasses it.

“I would say it’s probably more skill than luck and more planning than anything,” Ness begins. “And I think that’s a big part of Gold Rush: Winter’s Fortune. You’re going to see the kind of planning that goes into it and what it takes to actually have a successful season. … Since I’ve gone out on my own — this is my fourth year on my own — this is the first year that I got to return to the same ground that I ended on last year, and that’s because since I went out on my own, I’ve been trying to find a place, the place where I want to set up shop and really get after it.”

It’s not that Ness denies luck plays a part in gold mining, but he claims it’s finding the right spot and knowing what to do with it. “The whole first part of your season is moving everything, and there’s really no way to get ahead. I’ve always known that, but it’s been necessary to find the right spot.”

He concludes by stating he feels he has in fact found the right spot. Now that they’re established and set up, he says “it allowed us to hit the ground running. And that’s what I want to do every year from now on. I don’t want to move anymore.”

Rick Ness Describes the Pandemic Changing the Show

From attending large events to simply getting groceries, the pandemic has changed things profoundly for nearly two years. Television shows are no exception and Rick Ness recently opened up about how it affected Gold Rush.

Speaking to the Idaho Press, Ness described how COVID changed the show. “COVID still plays a factor in this show, up here, unfortunately. And that that’s just the way of the world right now. [Familiar] people are coming back, and some aren’t, unfortunately. That’s just the way of the world these days.” His “up here” comment refers to Alaska, where they record the show.

“There are some unfortunate circumstances where a person or two that people probably know won’t be around this year,” Ness continued. “I’ve had to get some replacements in, but it’s working well. So I don’t think anybody will be disappointed too much by that once we get going, and there are some machine additions to the fleet this year that I think people will be pretty impressed with seeing.”