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Gold Rush's Fred Lewis Names Mother Nature As Their Biggest Competition

Discovery's "Gold Rush" often shows the potential riches gold miners can acquire in a worthwhile season. It's not uncommon to see the mining teams rack up in the millions when counting up all that shiny gold. And sometimes their net wins are so profitable that it even raises suspicion, like when fans questioned how much gold the Clayton crew was actually gathering. 

But the reality series has also made it clear that none of the gold found comes easy. Mining can be lucrative, but it can also be brutal, as the profession is equipped with loads of hardships. Perhaps one of the biggest hurdles for the cast of "Gold Rush" is dealing with competition. After all, the series focuses on different mining operations that try to locate the best spots to mine and hopefully raise the most gold.

Military veteran Fred Lewis harshly became accustomed to this type of competition on "Gold Rush" when he joined the series full-time in Season 11, following his work as a medic on the spin-off "Gold Rush: Parker's Trail," in 2019. Despite his impressive military background, Lewis struggled a bit compared to other "Gold Rush" cast members during Seasons 11 and 12. At this point, we'd think that Lewis considers some of the other gold mining captains and their crews as his most significant competitors. However, in Lewis' eyes, none of them seem to hold a candle to the challenging touch of Mother Nature.

Mother Nature is unforgiving on Gold Rush

During an interview with Vegas Film Critic, Fred Lewis talked about some of his expectations for Season 13 of "Gold Rush." And when asked about what he considers his biggest competition, the gold mining leader surprisingly acknowledged the elements above anyone else. Lewis began his answer in the interview by noting the strict living conditions he and his team must endure while working. It appears Mother Nature is the ultimate challenge for him and his crew following the off-season. "The environment up here on top of the world where we live is crazy," Lewis said in the interview. "And Mother Nature had a real fun time last winter preparing everything for this year. So it's Mother Nature that's really our biggest competition."

"Gold Rush" and its various spin-offs often dealt with dangerous curveballs Mother Nature unexpectedly pitched, including when a bear was loose on Todd Hoffman's mining site during Season 1. Hoffman and his crew tragically hunted and killed the bear. Meanwhile, on an episode of "Gold Rush: White Water," a crew was in danger from falling rocks during an earthquake. It was the type of scary experience that would it make it seem nature has a vendetta against the "Gold Rush" cast.

In any case, the environments on "Gold Rush" are certainly a far cry from what Lewis usually enjoys when not mining. As he told The Idaho Press, he prefers the milder northern climates found during his time in Maine and the Pacific North West. "The military took me worldwide, and I got to see many places," Lewis said to the Idaho Press. "But I just like northerly [climates], pine trees, quiet, and both sides of the country — where I'm from and where I'm at — give me that."