Last night's season finale episode of "Gold Rush" was a live presentation held in Portland, Ore. headed by executive producer Christo Doyle. As the live show proceeded, the gold was being melted into ingots awaiting the reveal of the crew who found the mother lode.
Christo stood in front of three piles of gold worth about two million dollars, and the smelter was continuing to melt more gold bars in preparation of declaring the winner.
This season was one laden with injuries, broken equipment, disappointment and victories. The Hoffman crew doubled down, working at Quartz Creek and Indian River. Delays from the manufacturer, their new gigantic wash plant was nothing but a huge disappointment. With a one thousand-ounce goal, they never gave up; even when most hope was lost.
At Porcupine Creek, the Dakota crew continued to hunt for the bottom of an ancient waterfall and were willing to dig to China to find the gold.
At Big Nugget, Parker Schnabel found disappointment after disappointment until they moved to Emerson Trench.
As the night temperatures dropped to fifteen degrees, the crews worked night and day to reach their thousand-ounce goal. As the ground continued to freeze, they had to quit at Indian River. Jack Hoffman told Todd and Dave that in 1890, the miners built fires to melt the ground. Dave and Todd did not feel it was worth trying. Jack told them they would not be roasting hot dogs, but really building a fire of epic proportions.
At Porcupine Creek, Fred is short of his 160-ounce season. He has devised a system of taking gold from the access ramp they built down to the glory hole. Putting his life in jeopardy, is not worth it and as the ramp starts to collapse under his excavator, he gets help form Dustin to get him out of this situation and pull the excavator back to safety. With twenty-one ounces short, they had to give up.
Parker Schnabel went to a meeting with his mother and grandfather. Parker's mother showed him some past-due bills. Parker needs $45,000 to pay these bills or the equivalent of thirty ounces of gold. When he went back to Emerson Trench, there was gold just waiting for him. As he started digging the narrow ledge, it started looking like the season had potential.
At Indian River, Jack's plan to melt the ground proceeded. Trees were laid out like toothpicks across the cut as torches ignited the fire that could redeem their season and quell the investors.
As Christo got a lesson in smelting the gold into five-ounce bars, he needed safety goggles, because the gold reaches 200 degrees; the melting point. Then it is poured into a mold, stamped and cooled.
After the fire went out, Dave was down two more feet and has not hit permafrost. With this successful endeavor, there is a possibility of reaching their goal.
At Porcupine Creek, Fred has pulled the plug, but Dustin does not want to quit just yet. He and Melody decide to dredge once again. The glory hole is now thirty feet deeper than before, but much colder than the last time he dredged. Unlike the dredgers of "Bering Sea Gold," he does not have the means to control the temperature of his body with warm water. He managed to spend two hours in the glory hole before he was forced to stop.
The next day, at Emerson Trench, the winter finally hit and snow and ice became the determining factor. The last bucket was loaded, and now the proof is in the sluice; however, it is frozen solid.
Christo spoke to Parker, who only had 35 ounces of gold last season, now his is at 131 ounces, and his fate lies beneath the ice. It was ten degrees, overnight a foot of snow fell, and Parker takes the frozen gold home, but first he closes up the Big Nugget mine that has run its course.
At Indian River, they are running the paydirt in hopes of finding their thousand ounces. As frozen chunks of bedrock choke the hopper, they force the last of it through and finally shut it down. As emotions rise, their hopes are with them as the "Gold Rush" continues.