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'Gold Rush' meets ‘Man on Wire’ on Discovery Channel

Tonight’s episode of "Gold Rush" was titled “Man on Wire.” As the episode opened in Scribner Creek, Parker Schnabel is still 223 ounces short of his 800 ounce one million dollar goal. With the Yukon winter rapidly approaching, the ground is frozen and the torn up gravel must sit in the sun for two days before running it through the wash plant. However, with temperatures hovering around freezing; the gravel is not thawing and cannot be sluiced. Parker took the shovel of the dozer and smashed big blocks of frozen gravel, but unless they are broken down, they will not fit through the hopper feeder. As luck would have it, the belt on the feeder is torn in half by frozen chunks. Could this be the end of the season?

Gold Rush miners hope to find gold in the pan!
Wikimedia Commons

In Guyana, the Hoffman crew is desperate to salvage their season, as Dave Turin loads paydirt into the trammel, and at Redemption Creek, Todd and the crew are mining for diamonds. Now they must clear a path of trees to reach the pay gravel. As Jack attempts to move a huge tree, it smashes right through the lavador. Jim Thurber determines that the lavador will be no more.

In Cahoon Creek, Dustin is in need of a drill bit, but it is in Porcupine Creek. Fred refuses to spend more money for helicopters, so they will have to send it via cable, the same way miners have been doing it for a hundred years. After almost a four-hour hike, they arrive at the cable crossing. Fred is on the other side and sends food and the core drill, which Dustin will have to retrieve by hand to pull to their side. The cable car gets stuck halfway across, 400 feet above the treacherous creek below. Dustin puts on a harness and tries to free the car as crews on both sides of the cable watch this daredevil try to maneuver the stuck cable car as he hangs precariously by the cable. As he wrestles with the cable, one of the boxes of food drops to the creek below. Finally, they pull Dustin in the cable car to safety, as both miners and production crews breathe a huge sigh of relief.

At Scribner, as they assess the situation, there are ten tons of paydirt in the hopper, where jagged frozen gravel has torn the seams of the roller. Gene’s plan is the pull the belt free, or take a few days to dig it all out. Now using Gene’s method, they pray that the belt does not tear. They manage to perform another miracle and fix the belt in just a day, but frozen paydirt could cause another catastrophe, unless they are extra careful.

In Guyana, with the lavador destroyed, Redemption has no redemption this season. But fortunately, Dave Turin is mining Hope Creek and has an idea to save their season. By moving the trammel closer to Redemption, they can mine both areas into the one and only trammel. As the equipment makes yet another dangerous move on unsteady ground, Dave’s crew must cautiously drive through a quicksand laden ground that could tip the wash plant and end the season once and for all. When Andy gets stuck, Todd takes the dozer to help lift the wheels up and over the quicksand. Once the trammel was in place, the pipe from the broken lavador, will be used to pump slurry into the trammel, enabling them to mine for both gold and diamonds in the one sluice. As they all had fingers crossed that the plan would work, the slurry was able to travel the distance to the sluice, thanks to the four-inch pump.

In Porcupine Creek, Fred inspects the downstream cut, and will not allow anyone else down there. Now he is looking for another source of their gold. Melody suggests they mine the road next to the hole, and Fred agrees it is a possibility, there may be enough gold to reach the break-even point. Fred decides to run a 100-yard test and see if the gold is there, and Melody found a picker among the gravel.

In Scribner, as Gen was trying to rip through frozen ground, the shank breaks off the D-10 dozer, and determines that even if they fixed it, the ground is just too frozen and a repair would end in the same result. So now they must sluice just what they have and hope they make the 800-ounce goal.

At Porcupine, they are preparing for the clean out, but they are hoping things are hiding below, as from the top, there is very little to see. Fred weighs the remnants of their find, and announced that 24-ounces is past the break-even point and have the best year ever; with 206 ounces, worth over $280,000 and with two weeks left of the season, every ounce will now be money in their pockets.

In Guyana, it is time for a clean out after a ten-hour run, and Andy found a gem-quality diamond before they even cleaned out the sluice. After stopping for a prayer, they proceeded to the clean out.

In Scribner, they loaded the last bucket of paydirt into the hopper. Unless they come up with another plan, the season will be over. The sluice looks very promising, and hopes are high that the clean out will be his redemption. As Tony Beets arrives for the weigh in, they only amass 51.6 ounces, 172 ounces short of the 800-ounce goal. Then Tony throws down the gauntlet to Parker; are you going home, or going to fight like a man? Parker is determined to stay until he gets the 800 ounces on this episode of "Gold Rush."

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