Tag Archives: Yukon Gold

History’s Yukon Gold digs into Season 5

Somehow I totally missed covering Season 4 of Yukon Gold. No matter, the guys and gals who seek out the shiny precious metal in the most inhospitable of places—the Yukon—have stuck with it and return on Wednesday with Season 5 of the History program.

“Strike While the Iron is Hot” kicks off the new season at 10 p.m. ET/PT with a quick recap of what’s happened since we last visited the hardscrabble territory. And while folks like Big Al McGregor and Nika Guilbault and Chris St. Jean are back for this bunch of storylines, Karl Knutson, Bernie Kreft and Ken Foy and Guillaume Brodeur are no longer a part of Yukon Gold. No matter, there are more than enough interesting people sluicing. And with gold at a five-year high—$1,700 an ounce—there’s urgency to find the stuff and fast before the 16-week season ends.

Big Al has set himself a lofty goal, aiming to dig up 1,000 ounces (over $1.7 million). But Al’s infectious laugh and positive attitude hides his two-year struggle, first with the death of his wife, Colleen, and then cancer that caused him to lose feeling in his hands and legs. The result? He’s walking with the aid of canes and soldiering on in Colleen’s memory. You can’t help but hope he’ll get those ounces he’s dreaming of.

Meanwhile, young Whitehorse prospectors Ed and Riley are getting into the big game for the first time. Their first task? Transporting their $250,000 sluice plant through the mountains to their claim on Rabbit Creek. A rookie mistake shuts down their convoy for a bit, cutting into precious work hours but providing viewers with awesome, sweeping camera shots of the rugged Yukon terrain.

They may come from different backgrounds and have different levels of success mining, but everyone featured on Yukon Gold agrees on one thing: they deeply love where they are. The allure of living in the wilderness, eking out a living with the bare minimum and removed from the issues a big city presents is an intoxicating cocktail they simply can’t pass up. And having a little bit of gold is just gravy.

Yukon Gold airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on History.


Canadian Original Yukon Gold returns Wednesday Feb. 17 to History

From a media release:

This February, HISTORY’s fan-favourite Canadian docu-series Yukon Gold returns for a fortune-seeking fourth season where tempers are tested, time is ticking and the pressure to strike gold runs high. These miners have families to support and bills to pay, but the prospect of riches outweighs the risks. Miners returning with gold fever this season include “Big Al” McGregor as well as Karl Knutson, Ken Foy, Guillaume Brodeur, couple Nika Guilbault and Chris St. Jean, and Bernie Kreft. Produced by Canadian production company Paperny Entertainment in association with Shaw Media, the new, 11-epsiode season of Yukon Gold premieres Wednesday, February 17th at 10pm ET/PT on HISTORY.

This season, all five mining camps are busier than ever. Some miners are juggling multiple roles in their personal and professional lives while others are tasked with opening up new mines. But all of them are on the hunt for gold. Big Al faced difficult health issues this past year, leaving him in a wheelchair, but his determination brought him back to the Yukon. With the help of his right-hand man, Hiro, he hopes to make a triumphant return and finally hit the jackpot this season. Chris and Nika return to Stowe Creek, now as a new family of five, with the addition of their six-month-old twins. With greater responsibilities to balance, Chris is under more stress to support their family and Nika must juggle her roles as both miner and mother.

Business partners Ken and Guillaume head to Atlin, B.C. hoping to hit it big after years of coming up short in the Yukon. As Ken struggles with endless permit delays and preparing to become a first-time father, the pressure falls on Guillaume to get the mine up and running. Second-generation miner Karl is taking a big step this season. Buying into the mine with his parents, he’s now a gold miner and business owner with more responsibility and a hefty 1000-ounce gold goal. Bernie tries his luck at a new site with sons Jarrett and Justin, but sometimes it’s hard to balance being both boss and father.


History’s Yukon Gold mines for riches in Season 3

There’s still gold up in thar hills, and Karl Knutson is determined to find it. Turns out that, long after the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896-1899, the precious metal continues to be dug out of the earth. That adventure has been the focus of several TV projects, including Yukon Gold, which returns for its third season tonight.

The program is History’s No. 1 docu-series, and it’s no wonder; to watch these guys and gals turn precious ounces into a cash windfall is pretty addictive stuff. Even more so for someone like Knutson, who was born into the life under his father, Marty, and strives to succeed on his own.

“The hunt for gold and being able to pull your paycheque out of the ground just does it for me,” the 28-year-old says. “It doesn’t do it for some people. I love the fact that there’s gold in the ground and we’re able to pull it out.” It’s not easy. Weather is always and issue that far north. Toss in mosquitoes and black flies, aging bulldozers, diggers and sluice plants and remote sites, and you’ve got a recipe for extreme discomfort and even danger.

And while large machinery has taken the place of old timers panning for gold in a creek bed, the process of staking a claim hasn’t changed that much from the days of the gold rush. Knutson explains anyone can go up and spend $10 to stake ground on a creek. You then have two weeks to record that property and must do a certain amount of work on the land during the year to keep it. During that time licences are filed for permission to use water to sluice the earth away from gold; Knutson says environmental concerns regarding the use of water has to be carefully mapped out and regulated so as to conserve it and the land.

Re-joining Knutson on the Yukon Gold cast are Ken Foye, Guillaume Brodeur and Cam Johnson; newbies Chris St. Jean and Nika Guilbault struggle to make a living while taking care of their baby daughter. And while Knutson appreciates the popularity of the show and the spotlight it aims on the area of Canada he loves, it’s still a bit weird to have cameras pointed his way while he tries to work.

“We love telling this story because not a lot of people get to go to the Klondike and see this, let alone live it. But at the same time, they’re slowing me down a bit,” Knutson says with a chuckle. “I only have a certain amount of time to do this and sometimes it gets stressful explaining every waking moment to them.”

Yukon Gold airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on History.