If there’s something we have learned thanks to “Gold Rush”, it’s that mining isn’t easy in the least, especially when the work involves managing a team in a remote location, and dealing with lots of drama.
While it’s not a wonder why many mining teams in the show have a difficult time making a living out of digging for gold season after season, some other miners have somewhat of a sixth sense, and a sharp intuition which allows them to strike gold quite literally.
So is Chris Doumitt’s intuition responsible for some of Parker Schnabel crew’s major wins – who is he and what exactly does he do in the operation? Stay here to know all about the recent victories of this fan favorite “Gold Rush” miner!
- 1 Helping His Crew To Strike Lots of Gold
- 2 Who Is Chris Doumitt?
- 3 What Happened To Chris’ Wife?
- 4 Side Business
- 5 Who Else Has Been In Parker’s Crew?
- 6 How Much Do Parker’s Crew Earn?
- 7 Why People Leave Parker Schnabel’s Operation?
Helping His Crew To Strike Lots of Gold
Chris Doumitt is without doubt one of the most reliable men in Parker’s crew for several reasons. Besides having quite a strong passion for mining, Chris stands out for his dedication to his job, and good sense at knowing what to do during difficult situations.
Many examples of the aforementioned traits could be traced back to Chris’ debut in the first season of “Gold Rush”, but the most recent of those incidents occurred in the 12th season, when Chris’ sixth sense led to an unbelievable gold strike.
Just as the crew was focused on digging out gold, Chris noticed the gold they were obtaining was just too fine because of excess water. After devising a plan to reduce and divert the water pumped along with a technician, some other problems with the machinery surfaced, but at the end of the day, the pump was working as expected.
Having his money-making machines working correctly was crucial for Parker’s crew, which the previous week had collected less than 90 ounces, not even half of the amount needed to make a profit out of it. Nonetheless, fixing the pump resulted in 337 ounces weighed that week, meaning a $600,000 gain for the crew, and definitely cementing Chris’ reputation as one of the most experienced guys in Parker’s crew.
Who Is Chris Doumitt?
Sometimes the biggest opportunities in life come quite unexpectedly and Chris Doumitt can attest that. Back in 2010, Chris’ decades long experience as a carpenter landed him a job as cabin builder for Greg Remsburg, who back then was in charge of providing housing for the Hoffman crew in “Gold Rush”.
However, what started as a short gig ended up with Chris joining the crew as a long-term miner, eventually returning for another two seasons as the gold fever got to him. The fourth season saw him join Parker Schnabel’s crew, which at that point was still in its earliest stage.
As Parker’s natural sense for finding gold became more evident as time passed, Chris’ spot in the crew became more prominent, not only for loyalty to his young boss, but also for his hard working attitude and unrelenting thirst for finding gold. Nonetheless, while Chris evidently finds himself incredibly thrilled by mining, he also credits his background working on farms to explain why he’s so dedicated to his job: ‘Being a farm boy, you don’t have working hours. You do the job for as long as it takes until it’s done’, as he wrote on his website.
What Happened To Chris’ Wife?
As one of the original “Gold Rush” cast members, Chris Doumitt has not only shared his mining victories and losses with the show’s audience, but some of the darkest and most difficult times of his life as well.
In the latter category, the health issues of his wife Sharon is the first which comes to the audience’s minds, as she was unfortunately diagnosed with Cancer in early 2016, when “Gold Rush” seventh season was in the works.
According to Sharon’s blog entitled “I’m Not Sick, I Just Have Cancer!”, starting from 2015 she had been experiencing irregular periods and back pain for quite some time, but was never diagnosed with something serious. It wasn’t until her family prompted her to seek a different medical opinion in early 2016 that Sharon found out that she had Endometrial stromal sarcoma, a rare and aggressive type of cancer. Sharon then spent the following months undergoing surgery to remove two uterine tumors, and on chemotherapy sessions.
During those difficult times, Chris took prolonged absences from his job at the mining operation to support his wife as she battled the illness, something that “Gold Rush” fans can attest to given how the show paid special attention to Chris’ family struggles back then. Although Sharon’s battle was evidently enduring, she overcame her cancer, and nowadays enjoys good health.
While gold mining is Chris’s biggest passion, it’s also well-known he’s a great fan of smoking. This love for tobacco eventually led him to start his own brand Doumitt Cigars, founded in 2016 in association with Harry DeWolf, a friend of Chris and fellow smoker.
Doumitt Cigar’s first remarkable product was Nicaraguan Cigars, launched in 2018 to specifically fit Chris’ preferences. The following year they added Silver products to their catalog, a line also produced and imported from South America. Chris and his associate spent the next two years producing a wide variety of cigars for their inventory, adding The Tradesmen line, named to honor trade workers in the US, on top of Gold and Christmas lines, amounting to 10 types of tobacco.
Although Chris’ shop started as a US only company, it has expanded its reach to the United Kingdom and Canada. As if that wasn’t enough, Doumitt Cigar’s website also sells accessories and tools, becoming so popular to the point of gaining an impressive following of over 17,000 people on social media.
Though it’s safe to say that the success of Doumitt Cigar is due to his ability to make money, it’s clear that being such a tobacco connoisseur has positively influenced his business.
Who Else Has Been In Parker’s Crew?
Chris Doumitt certainly stands out in Parker’s crew for his work ethic and intuition, but he’s certainly not the only one whose job has taken the team to strike gold.
Schnabel’s successful mining operation attracts not only the attention of the audience, but has also led many miners from other crews to join him. Such is the case Mitch Blaschke, a young equipment technician who despite debuting in “Gold Rush”’s third season as a member of Todd Hoffman’s crew, eventually found his way to become one of Parker’s main mechanics, subsequently taking the foreman spot as well.
Since joining Parker’s operation in 2014, Mitch has gained a huge fanbase on social media, accumulating over 100,000 followers so far. While Mitch’s dedication to his job is one of the reasons he’s been working for Parker for so long, his preferred hobby while off-screen is building cars, but especially spending time with his family.
That ain’t your muffler bearings rattling, that’s the shaker decks in the distance. Check out an all new episode of Gold Rush tonight! #goldrush #gold #shakerdeck #washplant #muffler #discovery #RADtorque #enerpac @goldrushtv @discovery @radtorquesystems @enerpac pic.twitter.com/HTbfHe4Abr
— Mitchell Blaschke (@GoldRushMitch) December 6, 2019
Some decades ago, the thought of finding a young woman doing heavy work in a mining operation was unlikely. Fortunately those times are left far behind, and one of the proofs is Emily Gorham, who operated the excavator in Parker’s crew back 2015.
Regardless of not being followed by the show’s cameras as keenly, Emily had found her job in the operation quite welcoming while it lasted, even though her presence is certainly a rarity in such a physicaly tough and male-dominated industry: ‘Construction is the last profession that women are almost completely left out of. It feels like a last frontier…’Women operators are methodical, we need more in the field’, she said in a 2016 interview with Mountain Time, to which she also revealed she was pursuing a degree in Civil Engineering, and several certifications necessary to become a foreman.
While it’s unknown whether Emily accomplished that goal, her passion for heavy duty machinery is quite evident to this day. As seen on her social media, Emily is still involved with mining, and trucks when the season is off, complementing that job with her many hobbies such as riding horses, snow skating, biking and traveling with her friends.
Back in “Gold Rush” sixth season, many new people joined Parker’s crew, but few of them had what was needed for the long stay. One exception was Brennan Rualt, whose job as an excavator operator gave him a stable spot in the team, before quitting in 2021.
While Brennan Ruault’s reasons for leaving was his unconformity with the way Parker managed the operation, but he then found a place in Rick Ness’ crew for the length of the 13th season. However, given that the following season saw Rick leaving the show and mining for an undefined period for personal reasons, it left Brennan without a crew to return to.
Although it could be possible for Brennan to return to mining with Rick or another crew in the future, in the meantime it seems unlikely that he would come back to Parker’s team, putting a bittersweet but somewhat expected conclusion to their once rough working relationship.
Even though the majority of Parker’s crew is formed by miners, machinery operators and engineers, someone who definitely stands out for being different from everyone else is Karla Ann Charlton.
Loyal fans of the show might remember her name from the first season of “Parker’s Trail” in 2017, when she guided the crew through the Klondike trail. Since then, Karla Ann has gained a stable spot in the show, in addition to making recurring appearances in “Gold Rush”.
Karla Ann might not be a miner, but she’s pretty interesting nonetheless. As seen on her social media, some of Karla’s most notable interests are art, photography and outdoors exploration, offering services of trekking, backpacking, camping and guiding through some of the US’ most notable remote mountain ranges. Knowing all of this, it’s no wonder why she is so different from the rest of Parker’s crew.
Anyone who has watched “Gold Rush” long enough knows that several years ago, Parker Schnabel and Rick Ness worked quite well together, the latter as the operation’s foreman and right hand of Parker.
Nonetheless, 2017 saw the men part ways professionally, and though for a while the situation between them was supposedly tense, it was evident that time healed any bad blood which might have resulted from it. Meanwhile, Rick’s desire to start his own mining operation kept him afloat for a couple of years, but eventually the constant difficulties associated with the business, and Rick’s personal problems, ultimately took a toll on him.
By the start of the 13th season in 2022, Rick Ness announced that he was taking some time away from mining and TV altogether, in order to improve his mental state, worsened by his diagnosis of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Whether Rick’s promises of coming back to “Gold Rush” would ever be fulfilled is yet to be seen, but it’s undeniably sad to see the former foreman-turned mining boss leaving his crew and what he loves in such a sudden way.
How Much Do Parker’s Crew Earn?
Usually in reality TV, producers and stars are quite wary about revealing their financial situation to the general public. However, the same can’t be said about Parker Schnabel, who is quite forward about the topic when asked about it.
Following a Reddit post from late 2021, Parker revealed that the hourly salary for his operation’s workers was around $28 for the average 40 hours of work. Extra 35 hours paid $42 each were added to that sum, amounting to a $2,590 weekly salary for 75 hours of work.
Taken into account that an average mining season takes up about 25 weeks annually, this makes almost $65,000 without including any bonuses offered by Parker to those who work hard enough to deserve it.
Why People Leave Parker Schnabel’s Operation?
Given how juicy the salary for those working for Parker’s are, it might come as a surprise that so many people leave his operation season after season.
Parker himself explained why the turnover rate in his business is quite high, starting with the obvious causes such as substance abuse issues, along with breaking work rules and schedules.
On the worker’s side, the most common reasons to quit are related to tense work relationships, and problems with the operation managers such as himself, Tyson Lee and Mitch Blaschke.
On the bright side, Parker admits that losing employees season after season actually improved his hiring techniques, and he’s now able to identify who out of his potential applicants really has what is needed to endure an entire gold-digging season.
That being said, it’s for sure that Parker’s right-hand, Chris Doumitt won’t be leaving the show anytime soon, but who might be the next to leave is yet to be seen.