‘Gold Rush’: Why Rick Ness Outgrew ‘Yelling’ at His Crew But Parker Schnabel Did Not

by Amy Myers
(Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Discovery Inc.)

When working in gold mines, there’s no such thing as a laidback boss. In fact, on Gold Rush, there’s a good chance a lackadaisical supervisor could cause people to get hurt. However, that also doesn’t mean that the men and women in charge of the sites have to be drill sergeants. If anyone knows how to walk the fine line of being stern and friendly, it’s star Rick Ness.

When Ness started on Gold Rush, he was under the supervision of mine expert Parker Schnabel, who has known what it takes to be a part of a gold mining team since he was 15. Now a seasoned mine boss himself, Schnabel runs a tight crew in Klondike, Yukon, and his success speaks for his hard work. Only 27-years-old, Schnabel is now a multi-millionaire – and Ness isn’t too far behind.

Even though the two Gold Rush stars are fairly successful, that doesn’t mean they have the same leadership styles. In fact, Ness and Schnabel agree that one of them is much louder in their approach than the other.

“Rick outgrew blowing up at people; I didn’t,” Schnabel admitted to Entrepreneur magazine. “But I’ve tried to limit my outbursts in the last few years. They tend not to get you anywhere, I’ve found. And the biggest thing for me is just trusting that people are trying their hardest. That took a long time for me to realize.”

While Ness prefers the softer approach compared to his friend and Gold Rush co-star, he does admit that Schnabel’s has its benefits.

‘Gold Rush’ Star Explains Complication of Working with Friends

While it’s nice to be able to head to the bar straight from work with your closest friends, on the actual job site, it might be hard to separate social life and professional life. At least, that’s how Gold Rush star Rick Ness explains it.

He agrees that Parker Schnabel tends to be the “yeller” between the two, but sometimes, it’s easier to be the stricter type of boss.

“You know, sometimes I think it would be so much easier if it were just some guys I didn’t know as friends,” Ness shared. “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 yeller. I was as a kid but outgrew that.”

Meanwhile, Schnabel, too, believes he could learn from his fellow Gold Rush star’s supervisor skills.

“If you’ve got good employees who are invested in the operation, they are trying their best,” Schnabel shrad. “And when they screw up, it’s something I look at and think, a lot of times, that I probably would’ve screwed it up, too. So it should be much more of a conversation rather than a bollocking.”