'Gold Rush' Star Parker Schnabel Says Rick Ness Leaving Created 'Turmoil' in His Crew

Parker Schnabel had a lot more than just hitting quota on his mind during this season of Gold Rush — he had to deal with the "power vacuum" that resulted from foreman Rick Ness striking out on his own.

The hit Discovery reality show's mine boss opened up to PopCulture prior to the season 9 premiere about how Ness branching off and leading his own crew this year affected his bottom line, saying that while things were a little shaky at first, he and the remaining miners were able to work out their new normal in due time.

"It was tough and it created quite the power vacuum," Schnabel told PopCulture of Ness' departure. "Everyone has a different idea of how that needs to get filled. It caused a bit of turmoil, but ultimately, we have a very good group. And the crew was bigger than just Rick, it's bigger than just me. It's a solid crew that operates as a unit and we can handle some blows, you know? Rick leaving was a big one, but we can take that on, just another challenge for us to deal with, but that's business right?"

It was a difficult season for Schnabel's crew even without the task of replacing Ness. The young mine boss also had to take on seasoned miner Tony Beets in a heated land war the duo only just recovered from, relationship-wise.

"It was gonna be the first season without a landlord, and then it wasn't, and then it was and it was all over the place," Schnabel said of the disagreement. "This spring was a very turbulent time, and Tony and I, we can sit in the same room right now, but we wouldn't have been for a month or so there."

Schnabel even revealed that Beets had kicked him out of his office at one point, giving him the silent treatment for a few weeks. Beets, defending himself, called the move, "Just giving him time to make up his mind and see if that's where he wanted to go."

In the end, while the two men have made up, Schnabel admitted "it still bothers me a bit, if we want to be honest."

Will the two miners ever be able to repair their relationship?


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

Photo credit: Discovery