‘Gold Rush’: Why Rick Ness Didn’t Want Mining Pros on His Team

by Amy Myers

Usually, on Gold Rush, the miners we see are well-trained individuals that have spent the better part of their lives beside a riverbed, sifting through tons of paydirt. However, there is one team that prefers their members to be green when they arrive at the operation.

Rick Ness, himself, didn’t know much about mining when he started on Parker Schnabel’s team a few years back. At the time, Ness had just left his career as a bassist to instead try his hand with hydraulics. As it turned out, the new Gold Rush star was a natural and pretty soon, he was the head of his own team.

Given Ness’ lack of experience, it’s actually not too surprising that he tends to prefer new crew members with less experience. In fact, he spoke to his decision in a past BUILD series interview.

“At the end of the day, I could’ve built a crew of people that knew what they were doing — probably would’ve been a smart decision on my half — but, I didn’t want to share that with strangers,” the Gold Rush boss shared. “I wanted to bring my friends with me, you know? Was it the right decision? Well, we’ll see.”

He also discussed his transition from being a friend to being the boss of these newcomers.

“You know, sometimes I think it would be so much easier if it were just some guys I didn’t know as friends,” Ness said. “But you do live in with them as well — it’s not like you send them home at the end of the day — so I’d rather be with my buddies. I’m not much of a yeller. I was as a kid but outgrew that.”

‘Gold Rush’ Team’s Decision to Hire Rookies Leads to Collision

Recently, the Gold Rush star has even elected to hire newcomers that aren’t his good friends nor do they have prior experience. This was because his crew was short on hands and time. The team was already experiencing major machinery malfunctions, and they couldn’t afford to lose any more days at the operation. Originally, team mechanic Mitch Blaschke recommended that they use this tactic. However, not surprisingly, there were a few bumps in the road – literally.

Once they hired on a few more fresh members to the Gold Rush team, it seemed to be going smoothly. Unfortunately, though, this came to a halt when newcomer Tatiana banged her lifter into another vehicle.

Thankfully, the collision only resulted in minor damage, and the team could continue their efforts. But it did cause Blaschke to second guess his initial recommendation.

In an interview following the accident, the Gold Rush mechanic said, “nobody’s come here with a resume, so that’s gonna make things real tough.”