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‘Alaska Gold Diggers’ find nothing but ‘Ice Ice Baby’ on Animal Planet

The Alaska Gold Diggers hard at work!
The Alaska Gold Diggers hard at work!
Animal Planet

On yesterday’s episode of “Alaska Gold Diggers,” SaraJane and her four daughters were looking forward to reopening their late grandfather’s Alaska gold mines in Nome and Fairbanks. These California girls have never attempted anything like this, but they pooled their money and with help from a few grizzled miners, they are hoping to learn enough to secure their legacy and a comfortable future. But will the Alaskan weather be too much for them to handle?

When viewers last saw the Newport Beach women, they were getting wet, cold and dirty as they attempted to find gold. As SaraJane, Krista, Korre, Kamme and Tori braved the elements, the women saw the arrival of the miners they hired to help them and teach them what it takes to be an Alaskan gold miner.

With only two weeks left of the six-week season, they found a total of 18 ounces worth $31,500, but with estimated expenses of $45,000, they will need to find at least another ten ounces, or their big risk in Alaska will be for naught.

SJ took Buddy to check out the gigantic dredge her father built in 1936, it was amazing to see a dredge so large and SJ hopes to restore it next year, if they are able to return.

As John and his crew prepare the ground after finding the pay streak last week. The explosives expert on John’s team pinpointed the spot where they sent a blast to the frozen ground. With the river freezing quickly and the weather forecast predicting storms, their season could end within minutes. Even after the blast, the ground was still frozen. As Mark continues barking orders at the women, they finally get to run dirt. With the miners receiving a percentage of the find; the season is just as important to the men as the women. Kamme had enough of Mark’s yelling and walked off stating she had a sore throat. However, after being down one worker, Tori decided to go get her, as there are no sick days in gold mining, but after finding her, she just returns to mining.

Soon all the women are back, and when they check the sluice box, a large picker is spotted and gives everyone a chance to rejoice. Their celebration is short-lived as the impending storm puts a halt to the operation. SJ puts in a call to Clutch, the family friend who is tending the Fairbanks operation. They are experiencing bad weather, and things have slowed, but they are still finding gold there.

As the overnight storm intensifies in Nome, the next morning, the warmer weather has made the river rise to dangerous heights. John met with the women to tell them they must evacuate immediately, before the river rises any further. If they are stranded there, they will run out of supplies and their only hope of rescue would be via helicopter.

Buddy was concerned because Igor was gone for over half an hour, John took his quad to go find him. When he came upon his dog Lucky, Igor was nowhere to be found. Fortunately, he found him safely, but his quad was in a ditch. John was able to winch it out of the ditch as the two men and the dog got back to camp in time for the evacuation.

As the women drove across the lowest point of Gold Run River in their truck, the men on their quads followed closely behind. As they began their 60-mile journey to Nome, they will meet with the miners in two days. However, their journey was not an easy one, as the storm became increasing worse with high winds and blowing snow making visibility nearly impossible to see the road. Their choice to leave was a smart one, as they drove south, they made it out of the path of the storm which directly hit their camp.

In Nome, Buddy was preparing the gold, and within 24 hours, they will know if their hard work paid off. However, not to waste any time while in Nome, Tori joined Igor’s crew on the Bering Sea to dredge for gold. Tori did not want to leave Alaska without trying something else, and the one week the mission was cut short; she put to use. As the boat made its journey to the dredge site, the radar showed lots of gold 23 feet below the Bering Sea. Tori and her diving partner Mark, will submerge to the sea floor using suction hoses to vacuum the bottom. With a constant stream of hot water in their suits, they will counteract the surface-water temperature of 29 degrees and even colder temps below. Tori had been diving all over the world, but this is something new. When Tori made her previous dives, she was wearing a bikini, this is much different, as she is depending on a machine to help her breathe. Down below, they follow the guide rope to the sea floor, but their equipment allows them to communicate with each other.

Below, the currents thrash her around as she tries to control her breathing. The visibility is extremely low as Mark searches for the dredge hose. When he let go of her hand, she could not see him and was very well. Soon she had a problem with her breathing and on the verge of a panic attach, they had to get her back to the surface. She held on to Mark as she got to the surface stating she could not breathe. She was very disappointed that she could not dive and went back to the hotel. She told her mom and sisters that she bit off more than she could chew, and the dredgers were badass. They were proud of her attempt, but she felt that she let them down.

When they met with Buddy, he showed them how he washes and separates the gold. Then he showed them what was left in the pan as they squealed with delight. If it is enough to pay expenses, will be another story. They all went the Gold Buyers of Alaska to watch Lee do the final process of their labor; melting the gold into a bar. When gold is melted to 2,000 degrees, the majority of the impurities burn off. Once cooled, the gold was pounded with a small hammer as the impurities that rose to the top were separated. When that was done, it was melted down again and made into bars for resale. If it weighed 28 ounces or more, their mission would be successful, and they would come for another season. It weighed 32.68 ounces for a total of $57,401.

For Gold Run River, the gold netted them $6,200 after the operating costs. This was not a huge amount, but the crew got paid, and they made a profit. Not bad, especially because the men doubted their ability.

With one week left; the celebrating had to end, as they had to return to Fairbanks for their last leg before the season shuts them down on the next episode of “Alaska Gold Diggers.”

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