In episode two of the special, limited series “Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail”, Parker Schnable and three friends wonder if they’ll ever reach their destination before the winter freeze makes it impossible. In “Racing the Freeze”, we catch up with him, crew foreman Rick Ness, filmmaker James Levelle and wildlife guide Kara Ann inching along on the water. Schnable won’t be denied and is willing to risk great danger despite the warning of the others. Check out the sneak peek preview clip posted below!
The trip is the fulfillment of a dream and a tribute to Grandpa John Schnable’s memory. Parker longed to tread the path of the 19th century prospectors’ 600 mile trek in the Klondike; 100,000 began the trip in 1897, and 70,000 didn’t make it. They set off with vim and vigor, even getting past the 45 degree climb up what’s called the Golden Staircase to reach 3,300 feet of elevation.
That took “only” three days, and then it got tougher The four hikers began the part of their journey that required boats and got stuck at Bennett Lake. The wind howled at more than 35 mph for days. After getting into canoes and literally going nowhere, Parker grounded the boats and came up with another idea.
They built a makeshift catamaran by lashing together the canoes and creating a mast for a sail. Once the winds settled down to near 25 mph, the four adventurers began again. There were more lakes in their future to reach their destination, but even the new vessel couldn’t get them moving forward without danger.
After rejecting the idea of calling off the trip, despite the water beginning to freeze, Schnable and Ness found a way to transport the boat down the railroad tracks running parallel to the water. They found a cart that fit on the rails and they pushed it, ran beside it and made progress. That’s what makes this current set of circumstances so frustrating. Days before, the wind prevented them from moving ahead, and now there was none when they needed it. They have set a goal of 40 miles a day if they want to complete the journey.
“Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail” is a limited series airing Friday nights on Discovery, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/PT Image/video credit: Discovery Communications, used with permission