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Gold Rush's Rick Ness Says The Long Hours Are The Hardest Part Of Being A Gold Miner

The idea of mining gold often invokes a series of images in the minds of many. Perhaps one visualizes a "Wild West" type of individual with a wide-brim hat panning for gold, or maybe one sees a miner with a hard helmet and pick-ax in the bowels of the earth. Or maybe someone is a huge fan of documentary-style television and they actually imagine some of the hard work and effort that goes into the people appearing on the hit franchise "Gold Rush."

Rick Ness, often referred to as "The Comeback Kid," is one such person that appears in the main series of "Gold Rush," and the spin-off "Winter's Fortune" as well. This means that Ness not only is personable and likable enough to be put on television but he also has the skills and acumen to back them up. One simply does not appear on two different gold-mining shows on goodwill alone. Originally, "Gold Rush" focuses on gold mining in incredibly remote and sometimes foreboding locations around the arctic circle, which certainly tends to keep away those looking for an easy payday. Those that can brave these conditions know what is like to work hard, but it seems like there is another issue in Ness' mind that proves to be even more problematic.

Ness says that one can expect to work up to 100 hours in a week

Surprisingly, Rick Ness isn't a lifelong miner like some that appear on "Gold Rush" like Parker Schnabel. According to Discovery, Ness was originally a football player but an injury ended his career early. Ness then joined a band, releasing several albums and going on tour before being hired by Schnabel during Season 3 of "Gold Rush." At this point, Ness had zero experience in gold mining, and he was simply trying his hand at something different in life, lured by the promise of riches and adventure. Ness quickly displayed an aptitude for gold mining, learning fast and proving to be quite an asset to Schnabel, going so far as to set up his own gold claim at a later point without Schnabel's direct oversight.

However, jumping head-first into gold mining isn't without its own issues, and Ness definitely has some thoughts on the hardest aspect of the job. In an interview with Park City Television, Ness was asked about what he finds to be the thing many gold miners struggle with, and he replied, "The amount of time it takes – the amount of time you have to dedicate. You only get a six-month season to work, so you better be prepared 80, 90, 100 hours a week all summer."

Ness also says that gold mining operations are a year-round effort

Rick Ness' words make perfect sense in this context, mainly because weather in Alaska and other arctic regions can be downright hostile, if not lethal for those that are unprepared. Besides the weather, there can also be issues that become quite problematic for miners, such as logistics. Gold Rush Nuggets notes that although vast tracks of land are available in Alaska for gold mining, reaching these locations is often the biggest obstacle to overcome. This means that for the serious miner, getting to a location is a big part of the battle.

However, just because most of the gold mining gets done in the warmer months, that doesn't mean that Ness and his compatriots just sit around during the rest of the year. Speaking with the Hollywood Soapbox, Ness explained what goes on when they aren't directly mining. "There's still a lot of work to do," he said. "Mining is definitely still front and center. It's a year-round thing. We can only do it for six months physically, so we're not moving dirt in the off-season, but, especially for me, there's a lot of planning and a lot of organizing and a lot of logistics and setup for shipping for the new season and stuff like that." He concluded by stressing that he and his colleagues are working hard at their jobs even in between "Gold Rush" seasons.

In other words, if one is aiming for a lifestyle like the one belonging to Ness, one should be prepared for long hours at the very least.