Parker Schnabel Speaks Out About Gold Rush

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College Fund Brainwave

Phbarker Shnabel was born to be in the Gold mining industry, as it’s the family business! His grandfather John was his idol and inspiration, and owned the Big Nugget mine, which if you know the field, you’ll certainly have heard of. But at just 16 years old, his grandson Parker took over as the Shnabel in the business, even using his college savings to get started. You have to be pretty sure that you know what you want to do that!

College fund brainwave

Nuggets of Gold

Parker is an expert in Gold mining, and has now got many years of experience in the industry. He often chats on social media about his experiences, and about what other people should expect if they want to get started. A often thought myth is that you can find huge nuggets of Gold, but that isn’t true. The biggest nugget that Parker ever found was a quarter ounce, so worth four or five hundred dollars, he told his fans. It’s pretty rare to find any.

Parker Schnabel holding a gold nugget.


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Parkers Net Worth

Despite that, Parker has a whole load of money to his name, thanks to his expert strategies, and knowing exactly what makes it worth starting a dig. He is one of the most famous and effective Gold miners in the industry, and so therefore, he has a net worth of over $8 million. Of course, some of that is his salary from the hit show, Gold Rush, which is another savvy business decision he chose to say yes to.

Parkers Net Worth

The Downside

Parker often talks about how his job and success takes a toll on his social life. In an interview, he opened up about it. “I don’t make the time to keep in touch with them [friends from high school], it’s just a hell of a busy summer. So that’s definitely a downside: all the guys I used to hang out with, they’ve moved on, and I’ve moved on and don’t really have time to keep up. That’s a bummer, but I’m doing what I love, so that’s what you give up I guess.”

The Downside

Five Long Months

It takes around five months for a season of Gold Rush to be filmed, so it’s quite a big time commitment for Parker and the crew. And some of the miners are difficult to get along with! One crew member spoke indiscreetly about Parker, saying that he doesn’t have a strong regard for the camera crew, or help them with their work. We suppose he’s there to get his gold, and the TV show comes second!

Five Long Months

Arch Rivalry

One relationship you won’t forget if you’re a fan of Parker and his show, is the rivalry between him and Todd Hoffman. In fact, Parker believes in the abilities of his team to such an extent that he even bet Hoffman 100 ounces of gold that the team he heads would be more successful than Todds. He set his teams gold at an astounding 5,000 ounces! We don’t know yet whether he won the bet, so keep your eyes on the show to find out.

Arch Rival

Grandfather John

Parkers biggest inspiration is his grandfather, who sadly died when he was 96 years old. They were as close as a grandfather and grandson could be, and Parker used to visit him in the hospital in the weeks and days leading up to his death. Some of his dying words to his grandson were,“Parker, I wish you the best of everything, I don’t particularly wish you to have billions of dollars…but I do want you to have a wonderful feeling for someone who becomes a part of your life. That’s all that’s important. Good Luck.”

Grandfather John

Ashley Youle

And it looks like the words his grandfather John blessed him with, that he would find someone to share his life with, came true! Not that long ago, while travelling down under in Australia, Parker met Ashley Youle. After feeling an instant attraction, he invited her to join him in the US, to spend more time together. They became an official item, and started dating more seriously after that trip, which they describe as being loads of fun.

Ashley Youle

A Perfect Match

Parker has talked about his romance with Ashley, complimenting her a lot and saying that she is always quick to help out. “Ashley just rolls with the punches and helps out where she’s needed. If we need her to drive trucks she’ll drive trucks. She ended up cleaning gold a lot of the summer or helping do fuel things or whatever we needed her around the place.” Doesn’t exactly sound like the ideal romance, but it works for them!

A Perfect Match

The Truth About Gene

The world was shocked when Gene left Parker’s crew, but although Parker shared that shock, he doesn’t hold any hard feelings. “I see Gene a couple times a year normally. He doesn’t get out to our neck of the woods too often. But, when he does, he stops by now and then. When I go to see Tony, I stop in and talk to Gene usually. Gene and I are fine, I think. From my point of view, we are — you’d have to ask him on that. We get along fine. We talk. You know, I think we’ve both moved on, and we’re both doing fine from it.”

The Truth About Gene

A Very Good Guy

In fact, Parker only speaks highly of his former right-hand man. “I learned a hell of a lot from Gene, and I’ll always owe him for that,” Parker has told the media in the past. “Gene was a very good guy and a very good teacher. My grandpa taught me lots, but Gene taught me how to really move dirt, and since he left, we’ve been expanding on that. But, he definitely planted the seed there.” What a great tribute!

A Very Good Guy

A Big Safe and a Big Shotgun

With all the money they make, you would think that Parker and the team would want to keep their Gold as safe as houses, somewhere locked away from prying eyes. But if you’re a fan of the show, you know that’s not the case! Parker actually keeps their gold in jars! When asked about it, Parker has laughed and told the world that he has “a big safe and a big shotgun”! I think that would probably work as a strategy against thieves actually!

A big safe and a shotgun

Rick Ness

Rick Ness is the new right-hand man, since Gene Cheeseman left Parker’s side. “He’s a great guy, and he wanted more responsibility, and I decided why not trust somebody I’ve worked with for several years — it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. He did a great job,” Parker told Channel Guide, in an interview about his team. “The thing about Gene leaving is that it gave us kind of our imagination back — to be able to try new things and change things up.”

Rick Ness

The Best Gifts

We laughed out loud when we heard the kinds of gifts that Parker likes to ask for on his birthday. What guy in his mid twenties wouldn’t want cash, or fashion items, or the latest iPhone? But Parker has other ideas, asking his parents for construction equipment for his Gold mine, instead. As his dad runs a construction business out in Alaska, he’s pretty well placed to send Parker his hand-me-downs, saving his son a fortune.

The Best Gifts

A Talented Rookie

Where did the love of mining come, you might wonder. Well, of course, from his late grandfather who he loved so much, and no doubt wanted to emulate. But even when he was a teenager, he was already showing an aptitude for the industry. In his first ever season, as just a rookie, he managed to mine 1029 ounces of gold. Even for someone with a lot of experience this would be impressive, and he has beaten his record every season since.

A Talented Rookie

At a Disadvantage

Parker sees his age as being both a good and a bad thing. “I think my youth is an advantage and a disadvantage. The nice thing about being young is that I’m willing to try new technologies and take on a lot of challenges that I think a lot of the other guys wouldn’t. At the same time, without the experience that the older guys have, I’m at a disadvantage and last year that was a huge issue. I don’t have the experience being a boss and that kind of bit me in the ass last year to an extent. I’ll pay for that one, you know?”

At a Disadvantage

A Fitting Tribute

Gold Rush: Parkers Trail is Parker’s direct tribute to his grandfather, John. He took a whole group of his closest friends, and they went along the Klondike Gold Rush Trail. That trail in particular has a lot of history, and in the nineteenth century, many pioneers lost their lives there. Even Parker and his team had some worrying mishaps and difficulties on the way, but it was a truly wonderful tribute for his late grandfather.

A fitting tribute

Convincing Rick

Most of the picks for the Parkers Trail filming were of Parker’s own choice, so you won’t be surprised to hear he wanted Karla Ann, James Levelle, and his best workman and friend, Rick Ness. But Rick didn’t want to come at first. Parker talks about how he was out of shape, and that’s one of the reasons he asked him! “I was really interested to see, first of all, if he would do it…and then what kind of attitude he would have about it and if he would stick with it.”

Convincing Rick

Feud with James Levelle

James was an obvious choice to bring along as a cameraman, but according to an interview with People magazine, Parker actually began to regret that decision quite early on. “James and I got into it quite a bit,” admits Schnabel to People. “I just don’t really like the guy. I thought I did before this all really started. I haven’t spoken to him almost since it ended.” Yikes. That proves you better make sure you know the people you’re working with.

Feud with James Levelle

Psychological Warfare

Parker says that getting along with people was actually the hardest part of the trip. It wasn’t the hunger or the cold that he remembers as being the most rough, but actually just spending 24 hours a day with the same people. “We were stuck in there together, especially in the water… it was challenging,” Schnabel said. “It’s easy to forget about some hunger or the cold because I didn’t lose any toes or fingers, but the one [obstacle] that sticks out is the psychological warfare.”

Psychological Warfare

Karla Ann

Unlike Rick, Karla Ann was a pick that Parker knew he needed, and was happy he took. Karla is an expert on the skills you need in the wilderness, from first aid, to hunting and gathering. “She spends tons of time out in the woods, hunting and fishing and all that kind of stuff,” Parker told the press. “So it was kind of a no-brainer in that we needed somebody who knew what they were doing. Cause Rick and James and I certainly didn’t.”

Karla Ann

Parkers Mom

Believe it or not, even though Parker’s grandfather was his role model for going into mining, another member of his family has never been as supportive about that particular decision. His mom! Parker’s mom loves him and supports him, but he told the media, “My mom has always pushed us NOT to go to work in the family business because there’s a whole world out there to see.” Looks like he didn’t follow that advice!

Parkers Mom gold rush

Musical Interests

But Parker does have some time to chill out, and he even likes sharing his musical tastes, which are a bit different than you might guess. He loves Johnny Cash, and Willie Nelson, and has more recently been enjoying Rap music! He has told the world that the highlight of his career so far has been learning from his grandpa John, and being able to continue on with his work and his legacy. So not becoming a millionaire then?!

Musical Interests

Expert Advice

You might not find it easy to take advice from a guy still in his twenties, but Parker is an expert in his field after all. So if you are looking to go into the gold mining world, here is what Parker has to say. “My advice is that you need to start small. Start off with a gold pan and a tiny sluice box. Don’t go huge where you’re hurting for money and your wife gets mad.” Gold mining and marriage advice all rolled into one!

Expert Advice

Time to Relax

Parker does also make sure to get some time to relax, when he isn’t working on the show and his mining. Truthfully, this last off-season was when he took on the Klondike trail, but that’s unusual. He told Maxim, “normally I come home and spend a week hunting with my dad in November, and then I usually travel – I’ve been to Australia twice.” That was where he met Ashley, so he definitely enjoys those trips!

Time to Relax

Safety First

Parker makes sure that he makes the most of the time he can work in Gold mining, as it’s very restricted in terms of time. “The toughest thing is that it’s very seasonal work and we basically have four months to make a year’s worth of money… Not only is it difficult but it is also dangerous because everybody is working long hours, long days … from a safety standpoint, that’s risky.” It’s so important to put safety first.

Safety First

Incurring Costs

It’s not just a dangerous business, but an expensive one as well. Parker wanted to make sure that he was using the best equipment possible, so he ended up spending a lot, even though he was inheriting the business from his grandfather. He has a lot more debt than your average 20 something kid, but then he also has a lot more responsibilities and income as well! It’s a lot of pressure for someone so young to manage.

Incurring Costs

Breaking Records

Parker is now twenty three years old, an age where most people are just in the middle of college, perhaps thinking about the next steps they want to take to enter the working world. Parker has already mined more than $13 million dollars worth of gold at this young age, it really is quite remarkable. He is extremely good at what he does, consistently managing to beat out the competition and mine more than his rivals.

Breaking Records

Papa to Dozer

Parker has another relationship that means the world to him, his dog Dozer is like a kid to him! And that means that pretty soon, Parker is going to be a grandpa himself! “I do have a big announcement to make! Possibly, I’m not sure, but Dozer’s been running the streets of Haines, and it looks like we’re going to have some new Schnabel babies coming up. So I think I’m going to be a grandfather, which I’m stoked about.”

Papa to Dozer

The Way to Parker’s Heart

His love for his dog is almost child like, and there’s one more way that you can make Parker pretty happy, and that’s snacks! In fact, food is how the crew get him to stop taking breaks and get on with his work! “He doesn’t always take time to feed himself,” one of the members of his crew told the Discovery Channel. “So, we give him a snack.” They do say the way to a mans heart is through his stomach, and it looks like Parker is no different!

The Way to Parker’s Heart

Appreciating the Beauty

You shouldn’t be surprised to hear that Parker is an outdoors kind of guy, and that he loves the Yukon more than anything, which is where he spends so much of his time. He elaborated on this during an interview with Discovery, where he talked about how much he enjoys bonding with and exploring nature. “I love being in the Yukon, I love it up here. It’s beautiful, it’s some of the most beautiful country in the world.”

Appreciating the Beauty

Keeping Parker Motivated

But what do the cameras do for his work ethic, and is he used to them now after having them as a constant presence for so many years? “The cameras bring a big focus on, you know, how many ounces are you getting every week, so you know, it’s a lot of pressure, but, it is also a big motivator because everyone wants to impress.” It sounds like Parker believes they wouldn’t manage to achieve such great heights without the cameras cheering them on.

Keeping Parker Motivated

Eyes on South America

The Yukon will always hold a special place in Parkers heart, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only place he can see himself mining in the future. In fact, he’s looking at South America for the next place he wants to look towards. It has “Some of the last untouched areas of minable ground that are left. Like everything in the Yukon that has gold in it has had a road built to it and has been mined, you know, for years and years and years. It’s on the bucket list, and I definitely want to try and make that happen.”

Eyes on South America

Built up Tension

Youthful high spirits are definitely something that Parker notices when you spend so much time around the same people. “A few weeks ago, I had a party, and some of the guys started body slamming each other, and started throwing potatoes at each other. If I didn’t intervene, it would have turned into complete chaos. There is definitely a lot of built up rage. Working all those days and weeks without time off. And that rage can come out when alcohol gets mixed in.”

Built up Rage

Learning from his Mistakes

But as Parker gets older, he learns more and more, not just about his mining business, but also about himself and the way he deals with people. “I think I am starting to deal with people a lot better, learn from our mistakes and learn from our successes and try to grow from that…One thing I still struggle with is keeping people motivated… But, that’s something you learn with experience.” We can’t wait to see what he does next.

Learning from his Mistakes

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