Premieres Friday, March 31 at 9 PM ET/PT on Discovery Channel
Between 1896 and 1899, more than 100,000 brave souls set out on a perilous journey into the frozen North on the legendary Klondike Gold Rush trail. Most never made it to the end. Killed or scared off by bears, treacherous terrain, raging torrents and temperatures below -40 degrees, only one in three completed the journey. Now Parker Schnabel of Discovery GOLD RUSH fame, will attempt to make this same journey and document it.
At the age of 22, Parker has already struck it rich in the Klondike by mining over $13 million dollars’ worth of gold. But despite his financial success, he’s always wondered – is he tough as the original gold mining stampeders?
Parker spent his childhood in Haines, Alaska, near the starting point of the Klondike Gold Trail, and grew up hearing stories about those taking on the journey against incredible odds in pursuit of extraordinary wealth. Parker comes from a family of gold miners, including his beloved grandpa, who inspired him to push himself beyond his limits. In honor of his grandpa’s memory, he will now attempt one of the most dangerous challenges he’s ever done by trekking across the Coastal Range – as winter closes in – from his home in Alaska to the fabled goldfields of the Klondike. This journey is in his blood and will follow in the footsteps of his forebears.
But he won’t do this alone. Joining Parker on his journey will be his foreman Rick Ness, wilderness guide Karla Ann, who once worked with Parker as a rock truck driver; and cameramen James Levelle, who has known Parker for years.
In the first episode, Parker and his team will set out on the first leg of the journey, considered one of the most physically challenging parts. The 45-degree ascent would be tough for any seasoned athlete, but is especially difficult for Rick, who’s out of shape, drinks too much and is a smoker. But together, they must work as a team, staggering through snow and rain, with 60 pounds of gear to haul. Will this unlikely team of climbers make it to the top, and prove they could be among the few to complete the journey? Only time will tell, but their friendship and teamwork will be tested as they face incredible odds and deadly obstacles.