‘Gold Rush’: Rick Ness Opens Up on the Danger and Power of ‘the Hunch’

by Amy Myers

The stars of Gold Rush have developed a sixth sense when it comes to finding the sweet spots underground. But as any of them will tell you, relying too heavily on a hunch can be risky. It’s easy to overestimate how accurate your first impression of a strip of land actually is. And as all of them know, when your hunch fails, you begin to question every next step you take.

Following your gut requires a delicate balance of learning from your experiences and trusting your own expertise. Sure, sometimes, there’s that indescribable feeling that you just know the gold’s hiding beneath the brush and dirt. Many times, though, a hunch is the result of subconscious analysis of the circumstances. But that sounds too boring.

Throughout his journey on Gold Rush, Rick Ness has learned the dangers and rewards of following a hunch. Since his start on season two as a part of fellow star Parker Schnabel’s team, Ness has developed into a formidable miner in his own right. Now, a boss with his own team, Ness hopes that his sixth sense will continue to serve him well.

‘Gold Rush’ Star Balances Fact with Feeling

In season 10, just two years into his new position as a mine boss, Ness shared with Looper that he wasn’t trusting his gut as much as he should have. Despite his ability to balance his sixth sense with actual evidence of metal, Ness still didn’t find much gold by the end of the season. As a result, he began second-guessing his gut and lost his confidence as a boss.

“I lost my confidence that year, I lost my ability to trust in my decisions, to pivot like that when things happen, and that was nearly the end for me,” the Gold Rush star shared. “That was a big thing for me to get over as I reflected after that season, to know what the hell happened, and when I realized that, what had happened, for some reason I wasn’t trusting my gut and my ability to do what needed to be done.”

Still, from watching former Gold Rush co-star Todd Hoffman, Ness understands that trusting only your intuition can get you into some big problems.

“You know there’ll always be a bit of that there with me because that’s gold mining, but I am working towards kind of minimizing that whole “hunch” thing, testing it, trying to rely more on, you know, a specific set of reasons that help me know where I’m going is correct,” he said.

“But if the stakes are less in the future doing that, I think it’ll turn out to be an even better part of how I go about things.”