Parker Schnabel might only be 23 years old, but he's packed a whole lot into a short lifetime.
The central figure in a second series of Gold Rush: Parker's Trail which begins tonight on Discovery, Schnabel took over his grandfather's gold mine Big Nugget at the tender age of 16 – and made a huge success of it. Last year, he brought in over 4,000 ounces of gold and it is estimated his personal net worth is over $8 million.
In the first season of his spin-off from the popular Discovery series Gold Rush, Schnabel and his crew attempted a perilous journey into the frozen north on the legendary Klondike Trail. This time, he heads into the dense jungles of Guyana in South America to search for gold at the site of the legendary El Dorado.
Last year alone, Guyana mined over $750 million in gold – but this is a whole different system of prospecting and mining to anything the Alaskan native will ever have faced.
On the hunt for this new, rich vein, Schnabel and his crew – right-hand man Rick, survival expert Karla Ann and adventure cameraman Sam – are forced back to basics as local rogue miners teach them how to mine using only basic tools.
They are forced to fight their way through dense jungle and face all manner of predators including caiman, jaguars, venomous snakes and huge spiders. Heading deep into the unknown, they have to cross raging rapids and powerful waterfalls as they search for the legendary 'mountain of gold'.
In tonight's opening episode, Parker is hit with a bout of vomiting and the team's camp is flooded when a swollen river breaks its banks. Later, their path is blocked by the volatile rapids as they attempt a heroic crossing at the legendary Amatuk Falls.
Beyond that, there are the pressures of being with the same small group of people all day, every day for several weeks.
“We were stuck in there together, especially in the water… it was challenging,” Schnabel told People magazine after the first series of the show.
“It’s easy to forget about hunger or the cold because I didn’t lose any toes or fingers, but the one [problem] that sticks out is the psychological warfare.”
Fireworks are sure to fly as the young man and his crew fight the environment, the elements and each other as they hunt for what could be the gold strike of their lives.
Gold Rush: Parker's Trail season 2 begins on Discovery on Tuesday 3 April at 8pm.
Watch Discovery on BT TV channel 322/376 HD.