Exclusive: 'Gold Rush' Foreman Rick Ness Reveals the Source of His Clashes With Boss Parker Schnabel

Fans of Discovery's Gold Rush know that it isn't a day in the Klondike if Parker Schnabel and his right-hand man Rick Ness aren't butting heads over how to bring how to best bring home the gold at the end of the day.

This season alone, the grandson of John Schnabel threatened to shut down his foreman's operation after Ness made the executive decision to abandon the land they had already stripped over a hunch that he could find more gold in another location without telling his boss. Although the move turned out to be the right one, getting the crew back on track for the season, Schnabel reminded Ness that there aren't many jobs that wouldn't fire him for "withholding information" like that in the future.

It's this kind of back and forth that makes the duo's relationship unique, Ness revealed to PopCulture.com exclusively, but it comes from a place the crew foreman understands.

“Our relationship has always been kind of weird, because I don’t think Parker knows how to be a boss and a friend," Ness told PopCulture.com. "And I gotta admit that would be a tough thing, because where do you draw the line, you know, on certain things?"

This year has been particularly dramatic between the two, however, he added.

"So it does seem like this year we went at it more, even though we continue to be more and more successful. You think sometimes it would ease off, but it doesn’t,” Ness said.

But just because they square up to one another pretty regularly doesn't mean the two aren't close.

"At the same time ... that’s mining too," Ness added. "There's always lots of roadblocks that you've gotta get over, and I guess when you're in charge and it's your money on the line, it’s a stressful thing."

"I mean, we’re good," he clarified.

As for the unparalleled success they've had this season? It all comes down to putting in the work.

“I just think it’s work ethic," Ness told PopCulture.com. "We just flat out put in the time. In six months, as far as weekends go, I don’t get them. I take three or four days off all summer. ... I think it’s just flat out work.”

It's unclear whether the increased gold haul bolstered the fan favorite foreman's confidence in himself, or if Ness' willingness to take risks is what has increased the crew's success, but learning to trust his gut was an important part of the Discovery personality's recent growth.

“For me, it was just learning to trust myself, trust my instincts … and now it’s gotten to the point where I don’t think about it. If I know something, I just go with it,” Ness explained

As for what fans can expect for the remainder of the season?

“I would say lots of gold, probably more fighting between Parker and I, I would imagine," Ness joked. "You know, the end of the season, you never know how it’s gonna go ... it's always a wild ride.”


Gold Rush airs Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Discovery.

Photo credit: Discovery