Gold Rush star Rick Ness relates to his former mine boss Parker Schnabel more than even now that he's taken on a claim and crew all his own.
Prior to the hit Discovery reality show's ninth season premiere at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 12, Ness, Schnabel and Tony Beets dished on what fans would see this season in an interview with PopCulture.com, during which the former foreman revealed that stepping up in the role of mine boss helped him "gain some perspective" on the ups and downs of his relationship with Schnabel.
Ness started this year's mining season on a tough note after his mom passed away in March following a long battle with cancer. Ness admitted to PopCulture.com that he has yet to fully process the loss, saying, "I kind of didn't have much chance to deal with that, I kind of had a mining season to prepare for."
He added with a laugh, "So I'll let you know [how I'm doing] once I deal with it."
Taking on his own claim with a new crew of miners he brought from his time in Wisconsin was "stressful," Ness admitted. "Mining is stressful period. I've always taken it personally, even when I was running Parker's operation, so it's always been stressful for me. So nothing really changed this year, but it was a little different stress. It was kind of my own and I welcomed it."
It didn't exactly help that no one in his crew had ever taken on a mining season before.
"They're greener than grass, yeah," he explained. "They're hardworking guys though. That's why I brought them with me, and they were up for the task. And they listened, and we learned a lot together this year, and we grew a lot together this year. "
Taking on a higher leadership role in the mining operation definitely changed his perception of his relationship with Schnabel as well. The two had their fair share of clashes over the years while working together, and while Ness always took the mining seriously before, he gets why Schnabel was more than willing to push back on any perceived screw up.
"It would be hard not to gain some perspective there," Ness said of his relationship with Schnabel. "When it's your money going out the door that changes things big time, big time."
For more of Ness' journey from foreman to mine boss, as well as Schnabel's land war with Beets, don't miss the ninth season of Gold Rush, premiering Friday, Oct. 12 at 9 p.m. ET on Discovery. And don't miss The Dirt pre-show, beginning at 8 p.m. ET just prior to the premiere.
Photo credit: Discovery