Fans of the popular Gold Rush series are well aware of who 22-year-old Parker Schnabel is and how close he was to his grandfather, John Schnabel. The elder Schnabel passed away on March 18, 2016, at 96 years old. He was someone Parker always turned to for advice and support, and the last year has been very different for Parker with his beloved mentor gone.
John Schnabel quickly became a Gold Rush fan favorite, even earning the nickname “America’s Grandpa.” The interaction between the younger Schnabel and his grandfather was heartwarming to watch, and it was obvious that the pair shared a strong and loving bond. Parker always took his grandfather’s advice to heart, and over the years, it helped him grow and develop into the successful gold miner he is today.
Once Parker was finished filming the current season of Gold Rush, he decided to honor his grandfather by setting out on a daring new adventure, and it’s Yukon or bust for him and his team on Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail.
People shared that the three-part special will feature Parker, his Gold Rush foreman and friend Rick Ness, wilderness guide and former employee of Parker’s, Karla Ann, and cameraman James Levell. Together, they will set out in the Alaskan wilderness in order to follow in the footsteps of former gold miners.
Gold was discovered by local miners in the Klondike region of the Yukon in northwestern Canada on August 16, 1896, in an area called Bonanza Creek. Hidden Remote shared that from that time up to 1899, over 100,000 hopeful prospectors traveled the legendary Klondike Gold Rush trail to get there. The journey was extremely dangerous and there were many who didn’t survive the trek. One of the most popular routes went through the ports of Dyea and Skagway in Southeast Alaska where the miners had their choice of using either the Chilkoot or White Pass trails to the Yukon River, and from there they could sail down to the Klondike.
Every person attempting this grueling trip was required by the Canadian authorities to bring a year’s supply of food in addition to all their equipment, which could weigh up to a ton. Many items had to be disassembled and carried in sections, which took a lot of time and effort. Only one in three miners completed the journey as they struggled to make it through the frigid weather, raging waters, and the steep, mountainous terrain they encountered.
This is the type of environment Parker and his team will face as they attempt the same journey on Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail. Right from the start, they will have to deal with one of the most physically challenging parts of their journey. The group will have a 45-degree ascent, which won’t be an easy feat with 60 pounds of gear to carry through poor weather conditions, including snow and rain. The team will be traveling across mountain passes, through valleys, and on the water, and in the sneak-peek video of Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail shared by People, Parker explains that he wants to prove to himself and to his late grandfather that he is more than capable of completing the daunting trip.
“I want to test myself against my grandpa and the pioneers that came before him,” he says. “It’s just my way of having a bit of tribute to my grandpa.”
They have a long way to go on Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail, and whether or not they are able to complete the journey remains to be seen. What do you think, will Parker and his team finish? Leave your comments, thoughts, and opinions concerning Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail below. Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail premieres on Friday, March 31 at 9 p.m. ET on the Discovery Channel.
[Featured Image by Discovery Channel]