Gold Rush: Alaska premieres Friday, December 3 at 10PM ET on the Discovery Channel. The reality series follows the lives of six men who are struggling in the face of economic issues. They’re in debt; their businesses are struggling and they’re at the end of their ropes. With the price of gold at the highest point ever, they decide to leave for the wilds of Alaska trying to strike it rich mining for gold.
Todd Hoffman of Sandy, Oregon is inspired by his father’s stories of mining. He decides to lead a group of men with absolutely no experience into Alaska to try and save their families from dire straits. They spend everything they own on the machines and equipment necessary to mine on a leased claim in south east Alaska. They’re not off to a real great start when they hit their own car with a backhoe. It’s fairly obvious that they really don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to operating big equipment, especially when they take chances with things with which they have no experience. At one point their inexperience results in a chain snapping, nearly killing someone.
The six men going to Alaska include Todd Hoffman, age 41 who has a background in aviation and his father Jack Hoffman who has a background in gold mining. Joining them are ex-realtor and snowboard instructor Jimmy Dorsey, mechanic James Harness, construction supervisor Greg Remsburg, and retired sheet metal worker Jim Thurber.
The trip to Alaska itself is loaded with problems, including vehicle problems, flat tires, treacherous roads and crossing questionable bridges with their heavy equipment. They have four days to travel 2,000 miles to meet a barge carrying their heavy equipment. The trip ends at Porcupine Creek where Jack’s father mined for three seasons in the 1980s before he nearly went bankrupt.
From what I see of the first two episodes, this is going to be a fantastic series. It sort of reminds me of Deadliest Catch because none of the guys really seem to know what they’re doing. Each episode has me more convinced they’re all going to kill themselves or get stuck in a river somewhere. I’m looking forward to tuning into more episodes each Friday night!