Dustin Hurt is taking Mother Nature head-on in what the miner called the "most dangerous" season of Gold Rush: White Water, premiering Friday, Nov. 5 on Discovery and discovery+. Dustin opened up about the new season to PopCulture.com ahead of the premiere, revealing that his father Fred Hurt's shocking decision left him with a new opportunity to make this year's the biggest haul ever.
At almost 80 years old, Fred is still hiking around with the best of them but decided this year to "step back a little" from running a white-water operation to embark on a new mining adventure. This left his son with the opportunity to buy up Fred's mining equipment and for the first time ever, run two crews simultaneously. The major gamble required double the investment and taking eight lives into his hands instead of four, but Dustin said he couldn't turn it down.
"We doubled down because we felt we had to and it was the right choice," he told PopCulture, admitting that doubling up brought on "a lot more stress," especially with crew members who quickly realized "they're in over their heads." Adding to Dustin's stress was the snow. Discovering his McKinley Creek mine site was absolutely buried after the heaviest snowfall in over a decade, the miner was at a loss with how to start his season with such an "excessive amount of snow."
"Everything was against us from the start," he admitted. "I think Mother Nature really raged at us this year. ...This is the first year we've tried to start in this much snow, and it just didn't seem to want to go away." Coming off of last year's record haul, it turned out to be "one of the hardest years" Dustin has ever spent mining. "I wish we could just sit back and accept that kind of stuff, but I'm not that kind of person," he told PopCulture. "So we fully charged at [the weather], and it made it more difficult. But that's part of why we do what we do up here."
Looking back, Dustin is grateful simply to have made it through, but certainly learned a lesson or two in the process. "Every single year I spend probably several weeks after the season to figure out what I could have done better," he reflected. "There's a lot of things I would have done differently and I will do differently. ...It was a hell of a learning experience this year." Gold Rush: White Water premieres Friday, Nov. 5 at 9 p.m. ET on Discovery and discovery+.