GOLD RUSH, Discovery Channel. Season 7. Todd Hoffman.

‘Gold Rush’ Preview: Todd Hoffman Isn’t Built To Mine at 13,000 Feet

The weather has turned, there’s ice in the Yukon River, but the miners are far from done for the season. On the next “Gold Rush”, titled “Viking Voyage”, it’s a race to meet the season goals, or in Todd Hoffman’s case, a severely revised goal.

The word “Viking” refers to the intrepid, hard-nosed Tony Beets who ignored ice build up on and around his barge to take equipment to the site of his second dredge. He was so thrilled with himself after his barge captain called the attempt “crazy”, that we got a rare bit of sweetness from the grizzled veteran.

In the sneak peek clip of the episode posted below, watch Tony bull his way forward as he bids farewell to Minnie. Who says the guy only has one speed? Last week the family contest produced the expected result. The costs of mining with a dredge are significantly lower. Monica Beets recovered more gold than her brother Kevin, but the cost per ounce wasn’t even close. It gives Tony even more reason to crow and pronounce himself a genius for bucking tradition and switching from a washplant to the dredge. He spent a fortune on that gamble and came out the clear winner.

In Colorado, working two sites Todd and Freddie were thrilled with the cleanup, as was Papa Hoffman. It was bitter-sweet that their best week came with the season close to over. The good news was that the 1,000 ozs. was in sight and employees would get paid.

It appears that Todd might have learned a lesson about how to choose sites, as he and Freddie went up to 13,000 feet of elevation to consider a new claim site. They wanted a taste test so to speak, so the owner let them run a limited amount of dirt. It proved fruitful and the gold was in nuggets, not flakes. Todd and Freddie went back to see if the guys would sign on for next season based on what was found.

Here’s the big question, would you trust Todd Hoffman again? Sure the sample came up big, but the working conditions are hellacious. Todd almost keeled over, needing oxygen to do nothing more than work the gear shift on the loader. Then again the guy is in poor shape, noting that he had to squeeze into the loader’s cab. Will the crew want to spend months at 13,000 feet? Stay tuned…

Parker continued his cranky ways, but it paid off when he refused to get a new belt for Big Red, requiring Mitch the Master to find a way to create something useable from a spare that had to be cut to fit. The weather’s turning and the season goal is looming. With the second site pulling its weight, if the crew guts it out they could be celebrating. Parker will not be denied.

“Gold Rush” airs Fridays on Discovery at 9 p.m. ET/PT ¬† Image/video credit: Discovery Communications, used with permission¬†

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