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I watched it last night thanks to DVR.  First of all, love the scenery down there.  The glaciers and mountains are amazing.  Seems like the weather is pretty finicky, stormy wind and rain one minute, sun breaks through another.   They havent done any prospecting though by the end of the episode.  It was all getting there and setting up camp, and of course introduction of people.  Looking forward to seeing what they will be showing in the coming episodes.

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Geo - I know you've been there so you must have felt right at home. How do you land a C-130 in fog like that ? With great difficulty and a quiet prayer I would imagine. Yes, nice scenery with an Iceberg or two thrown in for effect. Weather seems pretty much like Nome. And Logistics ? Wow ! Could you imagine getting an Excavator or a D-9 in there ? Perhaps I haven't seen enough of the place yet but I am already wondering what the Placer Miner is doing there ? And enlighten me if you can please but what does an Excavation Expert actually do ?   

 

Be interesting to see how it pans ( excuse the pun ) out. At least these guys have started from scratch. i.e. It looks like they are going to show us some real Grass-Roots Exploration / Prospecting and in addition, lo and behold, no it can't be - A Geologist ! Could this be the first Mining Reality TV Show that actually thought it might be useful to bring in a Geologist ? Surely not ! It would have got even better if the Geologist had briefly explained in laymans terms how and why he has selected those 3 Targets near the Base Camp. Heck, we may have even learnt something !        

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... lo and behold, no it can't be - A Geologist ! Could this be the first Mining Reality TV Show that actually thought it might be useful to bring in a Geologist ? Surely not ! It would have got even better if the Geologist had briefly explained in laymans terms how and why he has selected those 3 Targets near the Base Camp. Heck, we may have even learnt something !        

 

 

Ditto  x  1000.    FWIW, I thought the animations/diagrams shown in last season's Gold Rush episodes added good educational value.

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Cochetopa,

 

I agree, the short clips certainly can add explanation of the technical aspects! :)

 

Certain technical aspects are completely overllooked.

 

When operating in a remote setting, communication for emergency purposes is a requirement. Production of adventure - drama put-ons like this show lack of preparation as part of the drama. For example the shipment of a large tarp was decided against - yet $250 approx was paid for a tarp in Greenland...

 

Every season, before I fly up to Alaska for mining, I pick up a double tarp pack at Costco and ship it ahead. When it's wet, quality blue taprs are the solution!

 

I put a shelter sized tarp in my backpack for 40 mile road trips from Ophir to Takotna. If the 4-wheeler quits - I have shelter from the elements. Food, gun and ammo are the other items at hand. Water? A tarp, in rain country will collect a bunch of fresh pure rain water! I built an A-frame shelter at my upper workings to get out of heavy rains. Blue tarp? Yes!  A curled bottom edge catches all that heavy rain and runs it off into a water container. Lots of fresh drinking water!

 

There's more but that's a start.

 

- Geowizard

 

www.alaska-gold.com

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Well, here's the killer...

 

Hypothermia.

 

In the US, no matter where you are - there's trees. Collect dry wood, whip out those matches you brought "for just in case situations". You will be warm.

 

In Greenland - there are no trees! (exception small birch saplings). :)

 

So, how about a bunch of those little green propane cylinders? To keep a crew of eight and production crew warm? No wonder the ice is melting with those cowboys sitting around outside with personal catalytic heaters going!  (See the promo photos)

 

- Geowizard

 

www.alaska-gold.com

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Steve62,

 

When I was at Sondresron AB, we had a C-130 crash at one of the Dew line radar sites on the ice cap. The C-130 was carrying a 6 ft diameter, 40 ft long I-beam with radar personnel sitting in the usual side seats. The C-130 , on skis, was landing in a crosswind. Note: skis have a problem with side forces as we know. The pilot initiated a go-around and said to the co-pilot; "flaps". The Copilot raised the flaps... The C-130 hit the ice at about a 30 degree angle and nose-up with full power. The propellers broke off and one came in through the side of the fuselage, killing one of the Danish radar operators. The I-beam also broke loose causing a few passengers to change their seating and probably incurred some laundry bills.

 

You want more drama? :)

 

- Geowizard

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My choice for removal from the show is the guy that had to have his propane shower. When I was in alaska I just manned up and just went in with my soap. Many times there was snow and ice on the creek bank. You learn how to bathe fast. My sense of smell doesn't work very well so I didn't need a daily bath.

 

My partner and I took the hint at Nome after they came up to where we were eating breakfast at a cafe and asked if it would be ok if they opened the window, We went to the community center and took a swower after that.

 

Leonard

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Heated shower?  Actually, a Finnish sauna is preferred!

 

Sondrestom had a Finnish sauna that ran from 180 degrees F to 230 degrees F. (Note: it's a dry heat). :)

 

I found the sauna a great way to take off the chill!

 

One afternoon, while enjoying the great heating action, three Danes came in with a coffee can full of water and threw it on the hot rocks! Instant scalding steam! I dove head first out the door while they remained in the sauna and laughed hilariously.

 

The Finnish military has a directive for field camps - the first building erected is a sauna.

 

- Geowizard

 

www.alaska-gold.com

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Ol' Mad Jack has been on another forum for years-just can't figure out the mix-NO DETECTORS seen and a guy who claims to be  a dredger but NO DREDGE???? Also first outting outta town-you found gold...but..can't keep it that close to town??? strange land,strange rules,hope it gets better as great scenery can be seen on almost any channel anytime-John

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Episode two has aired! I hope everyone watched! :)

 

Yes they had a metal detector!

 

There was drama!

 

What's missing?

 

All modern exploration is preceded with "geophysics".

 

http://explorationgeophysics.info/?p=2620

 

Greenland geophysics:

 

http://www.geus.dk/minex/go22.pdf

 

You can prospect Greenland and not leave the farm...

 

- Geowizard

 

www.alaska-gold.com

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Just watched the 3rd. Episode and it was basically a repeat of the second. Every step seems to be some sort of death-defying feat of superhuman endurance risking life and limb as they go. That just shows how desperate they are trying to create some drama. I though we were going to see something different but it doesn't look like it. 8 expert Miners or 8 over-inflated Ego's ? I think they should all get back to their day Jobs. Fortunately it's off to the Bush for me on Sunday so I won't have to force myself to sit through another Episode.      

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I also watched some. It seemed to be really long on portraying cross country hiking as death defying risky adventure and really short on actual gold. The gold shown in panning during the second episode was clearly filmed at another time, so they are using bogus methods to hype the gold finds. Even so, I could have gotten far more of the yellow a couple hours away in California. Also a little personal drama tossed in. The whole series seems very "just more of the same stuff" to me with the one difference that it is set in Greenland. I dont see it succeeding. Too copycat and formulaic. I was not impressed.

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I made it a point not to piss & moan about the others... on camera.

And, I have more time mining/prospecting than any one of the others... longer than 3 of them have been alive!

Too bad they dumped my good stuff and interviews on the cutting room floor.

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I'm just an observer-

 

From what I see, the Discovery channel and even Animal Planet have used "gold" as a "vehicle". Much like investors create shell companies to do a "Pump and Dump", television networks wave done the same thing. Viewership of the various Gold Rush scenarios was probably the largest in recent memory. There are many other network programs that because of limited viewership, you would be hard pressed to strike up a conversation about. Bring up any episode of Gold Rush Alaska and everyone in the room has either watched it or knows about the actors and the situations.

 

The Discovery channel tried to carry the theme of remote mining too far. It is and was an attempt to take "reality" to the extreme. Reality has built-in limits. One of the limits that is often overlooked is culture. Taking mining to the remote jungles of South America goes beyond reality. It isn't real and the reality part kicks in when local governments react to the perverted drama that makes their communities and people look crooked or dishonest. "on the take", etc. whether it's factual or not.

 

All of this is more a reflection on the mentality of the producers - not the networks. The Discovery Channel has an obligation to investors and to ad companies. It's a for-profit business. Reflecting back a few years, I recall the notice placed on the Alaska Gold Forum by the BBC. The BBC wanted to film a reality program on gold mining in Alaska. All of the following programs, drama, situations, fed on the original theme.

 

The theme has been taken to the limits of what "real" people can do and how far audiences can be exploited. It is fortunate for the cast and crew of Ice Cold Gold that there weren't casualties having pushed the cast and crew to the extreme danger of working in areas of freeze-thaw rock slides. When rock is going from freeze to thaw in the spring and summer - it is most dangerous. Jungles have "real" poisonous insects and reptiles - not to mention "real" cats. There are two legged "cats" that are even more unpredictable. In essence, the casts and crews are placed in environments that cannot be completely controlled in an effort to exploit an audience for the sale of commercial products. There are certainly many Nat. Geo. productions that are presented for quality and educational content that lack the drama and excitement of "reality television".  The public, at large, isn't drawn into that type of programming because it lacks the "un-real" qualities of "reality" television.

 

Just one person's view! :)

 

- Geowizard     

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I agree on this one GEO.

 

Seems to me that 'reality' TV means entertainment first and factual coverage last, with a huge slice of baloney in the middle.  The drama reminds me of "Lucy and Desi Tries Alaska Gold Mining"  Laugh, laugh, laugh. 

 

I can snag a gem of knowledge embeded within each segment though.  The Parker installation of the hydraulic riffle from Tony was pretty good, if it was factual.  That hydraulic riffle recovery is a wonder to witness in person, I've been astonished at the difference it can make. 

 

Using gold as a "vehicle" has resulted in a 'comeback' for reality entertainment.  Have you watched the "Naked and Lost" series?  No comment.

 

I've tried to imagine a better format for "reality gold" than deception and comedies, but I tend to make it too boring and dependant on 'real'.  Nobody would watch my program.  I guess TV requires entertainment to survive.  I'd like to hear what P.T. Barnum would say about todays "Greatest Show On Earth".

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I didn't say it wasn't factual and I didn't say it was deceptive.

 

I am only giving an opinion on the development of the programming toward more advanced drama that requires exposure of the cast and crew to possible personal danger. Reality has limits. That's the point I'm trying to make.

 

There seems to be comedy and drama that is related to accidents. In MSHA classes and elsewhere in most industries, it is well recognized that accidents are the precursors that lead to fatalities. After-all, the people are real. The situations may be created to simulate dramatic events. Dramatic events are usually produced with stunt men that are professionals and the creation of "the event" is done with controls in place. In a real jungle, there are situations that can happen that result in immediate death or personal injury. Yes, I know, they had a highly trained Army Ranger that was on set for consultation, etc. etc. in Guyana.

 

- Geowizard

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Reality Miners ? It reminds me of one night early September I was coming back in to Town ( Nome ) to get some Fuel / Supplies. I had been riding the ATV hard all afternoon in the rain coming out of the bush. I got to my Truck out at the main road then headed back towards Town. By this time it's nearly 1:00 am. I was cold and hungry, hadn't showered for days and just as I was about to stop and heat up a packet of two-minute Noodles, I came up to the Safety Roadhouse. ( 20 Miles out of Nome )

 

Lo and behold the lights are still on, courtesy of the " Reality Miners ". There was a party on. I walked in and the place was full of the Discovery crowd. Bloody Mary's flowing freely, Cheeseburgers all round and the Fire was burning in the corner. I must admit, I sort of wanted to find out more about the " behind-the-scenes " workings of the whole affair and if there was anything different to look forward to this Season but I was just too tired to bother listening to the BS of how hard they were doing it. I could see how hard they were doing it. I sat quietly alone near the Fire warming up and stuffed in two Cheeseburgers so fast I didn't even taste them. No-body really wanted to know what the hell I was up to at 1:00 am in the middle of nowhere. I think it must have been how I looked or probably how I smelt, not to mention my somewhat primitive table-manners. The proverbial Caveman was in the room. Come to think of it, Prospecting alone wouldn't make for enough Drama for TV. They need the conflict and tension between egos which usually arises out of the stress and tiredness of working long hours. And the worse things are going, the higher the levels of stress and conflict.

 

I can't really complain though. I watch all of it for every small idea I can come across. I must say though that after watching Gold Rush now for several Seasons, I see in the latest Episode this weekend that the Hoffman Crew have just run dirt for two weeks in Guyana and didn't turn up a single flake. Wow ! I used to think that inadequate Sampling was a Rookie mistake or a simple lack of patience so I more or less forgave them over the first two Seasons but here we are, several Seasons later and now these guys are not Rookies any more. They have experience, an apparently unlimited Budget ( courtesy of Discovery Channel ), more Machinery than they know what to do with courtesy of Volvo and yet still, despite the efforts of Freddie Dodge to make Gold appear in every Pan, the Hoffmans still don't seem to want to Sample their ground properly. For all their fancy Equipment, Consultants, Egos, Witch-Doctors and Diviners, if there's no Gold there, don't even bother. If I had to offer up a simple piece of advice for these guys, it would be to just get back to basics. Were getting tired of the same stupidity over and over.                     

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