Jade Fever (2015–…): Season 1, Episode 3 - Jade Fever - full transcript

Tensions flare as the crew struggles to get heavy equipment up a muddy, boulder-strewn 120km trail to set up a new jade mine on a mountaintop.

(hammers clinking)

(intense music)

- I'm Claudia Bunce.

I love jade.

- [Josh] Woo hoo, tubes of jade.

- [Claudia] Up here near
the Yukon in Jade City,

we've got the world's richest deposits

of nephrite jade

and the Chinese want it.


- This is gonna be the
million dollar rock.

- [Claudia] Now we just have to find it.

Woo hoo, go!

I will dig 'til my hands bleed.

Jade makes people do crazy things.

(crumbling rock)


- It's a good place to be.


Don't gotta worry about traffic,

ignorant people.

See that right there?

- [Camera Man] Yeah.

- That's the dream bro.

- [Narrator] In the remote
Northern British Columbia alpine,

three men and three machines
are crawling towards

Shangri-La for jade miners.

- 'Kay let's boogie for another hour

and check things out and go from there.

- [Josh] I've never (beep)
on to a piece of equipment

more then 500 yards or a click,

never ever.

In a machine that does a
kilometer an hour, at the best.

- [Narrator] Claudia's crew is trying

to get to their mining
site called Wolverine,

high in British Columbia's jade fields.

Home to 75% of the world's nephrite jade.

But making it to Wolverine
with heavy equipment

is no easy feat.

- [R2] Five hours, six
hours into the trip,

one issue that's concerning us,

loose sleeping quarters on the back here.

Trailer shifted a little bit.

- Worst case scenario this
things laying on it's side

in shrubs and we're sleeping on the deck

or on the (beep) wall.



- (beep) MacGyver 101 right there.

- [Josh] That was a TV show?

- [Guy] MacGyver?

- Yeah.
- Hell yeah.

You weren't born yet.

- [Josh] I was not born.

- You'd have to be a
MacGyver to be in Jade City.

- [Narrator] But MacGyver
himself would have

a tough time moving
equipment to Wolverine.

From the trail head off the highway,

it's a 120 kilometer dirt road

that climbs from valley
lake to high alpine.

The biggest obstacle will come half way,

with the steadily rising Turnagain River.

(heavy motor)

Depending on weather and
machinery breakdowns,

the trek through mud, rocks, ruts,

- [R2] Climb, climb, climb.

- [Narrator] and high water,

can take anywhere from four to 14 days.

- And away we go,

into new mosquito territory.

- [Guy] It's not the highway through hell,

it's more like the trail to hell.

- I can literally watch worms

make their way through
this dirt faster than me.

- [Guy] Roger.

- [Narrator] As they push
further into the alpine,

the road get worse,

testing man and machine.

- Ooh, Betty doesn't like the downhills.

It's jostling this old
trailer we've got there

full of our diesel.

- We got a (beep) lot
of clicks ahead of us.

I don't even want to
do the math in my head,

I just want to get there.

- This looks like a great spot.

- [Narrator] Six hours
and 13 kilometers in,

the crew calls it a day.

- [Guy] Shut her down for the night.

- [Josh] Man this thing feels,

- [R2] Home sweet home.

- [Guy] Enough for one day.

- Yeah.
- Dang mosquitos.

- [Narrator] Planning for this journey

started much earlier in the year

on the other side of the world.


- [Claudia] Oh I don't. Oh, that's scary.

- Those are Army, beautiful.

- Oh I'm not going on the wall
looking like this (laughing).

- [Narrator] Robin and Claudia were with

their partner Alan to meet
with the investors in China.

- [Claudia] What is this symbol?

It looks like a little
man right here, Alan.

- [Alan] No, no, this is a
Chinese word, this is gold.

- G-O-L-D?
- Of course.

- I pick one word in this whole wall

and it's the word for gold?

- [Alan] Yep.

- That's gotta be a sign.

- [Robin] Yeah.

- [Narrator] After seeing a few sites,

they had a crucial
meeting with the money men

to drum up interest in
their mining projects,

including the untouched Wolverine claim.

- So we're going to
decide which areas to mine

and how much money to
spend in each mine site

and exactly what's gonna be expected.

It'll come down to the money right away.

- [Alan] And first I would like to

review all the financial figure.

- The biggest problem
with with doing a budget

for Wolverine is that we
have to take everything

in on the dirt and everything breaks down,

has to be replaced by
the time it gets there.

Because it takes a week
just to get the equipment in

and then to fix everything
and get it ready to go.

Approximately a million
and a half to do Wolverine.

- Hmm.

(speaking Chinese)

- Yeah.
- Yeah.

- [Claudia] We agree.

- They wanna have some sellable jade.

So now the push is on to get it this year.

- [Narrator] The investors are hungry

for more of what the Chinese
call the Stone of Heaven.

They showed Claudia
and Robin what they did

with last year's Jade City jade.

- [Claudia] Whoa.

- [Investor] This is
from our Gannis claim.

- Wow.

I couldn't believe how
gorgeous the carvings were.

They were amazing!

- This one is from Jade City.
- No!

- Yeah, that's our stuff.
- Wow!

- [Alan] Check it out.

- [Claudia] Seeing products
finished out of our jade,

that's pretty special.

We know that there is
some really gorgeous stuff

on our site and we wanna
go, we wanna see it.

- Oh yeah.
- Yeah.

- [Investor] That's nice.

- [Narrator] The
investors were hooked too.

They bankrolled the Bunce's

and Claudia's dream for
Wolverine became real.

- Good morning.

- We just woke up we got a
really good night's sleep

oatmealed up, coffeed up

we're just getting ready to head out.

- This is our first day.

We left last night and we
spent six hours on the trail

and now we are going to
try and put in a full day.

- [Narrator] Today they
hope to make it to the

Turnagain River,

the fast flowing waterway that marks

the halfway point to Wolverine.

The trip is a big test
for 19-year old Josh.

- 20 years before I was ever even born

my grandpa was out here
pounding down this road

trying to get jade out of here,

so I'd always seen photos,

heard stories of how intense this road is

but I've never actually been on it.

Every rock in the road
you feel in your back

'cause there's no suspension,
like there's no such,

nothin', I'm running on metal pads.

(metal grinding)

Holy (beep) this is rough.

For my dad to give me the responsibility

and give me that piece of
equipment was just huge

absolutely, because
there is a lot of factors

and it's uh, it's a pretty
nerve-racking thing to undergo

because I have to watch
everything on that thing


and prepare to take full responsibility

if anything goes wrong.

- [Narrator] Just a few
kilometers into the day

and the road is already
beating up the excavator.

- I'm rolling along, like
watching my pad in front of me,

and all of the sudden,

(loud machine rattle)


Just noticed my track
hanging off a little bit

so I came over and it's missing two bolts.

It's, there's no way I'll snap this eh?

- Yeah, just don't fall on your ass.

- Well I can't control metal
breaking or not breaking.

[tool clicking)

It's a significant problem for sure

we can't run the track this loose

so now we're just trying to
tighten the (beep) out of it.

(tool clicking)

And we stripped a bolt (beep).

Yeah, we'll see how long it holds.

It's holding, all good.

- Okay and we're off again
after another minor delay

and we're not even to the
(beep) part of the road.

- [Narrator] It's not just the excavator.

The Bedford with the trailer
holding three diesel tanks

has got issues too.

- [R2] Our bunkhouse here is protruding

off the end of our truck

and we've got a big tall
tidy tank in our trailer

that we can puncture that pretty easily.

Here we go for our first creek crossing.

(music and machinery)

Okay, here we are on the other side.

Right on.

- [Narrator] The Bedford leads the way.

It's faster than the other
machines but is far less stable.

- [R2] Now it looks
like our only path here.

I'm definitely going to get stuck.

This is gonna be a little sketchy.

- [Josh] Having all our eggs in one basket

strapped to the back of the Bedford with

R2 in the driver's seat, pretty crazy.

- [R2] This is really slippery (beep).

Okay here we go, this
is quite a mud bog here.

I'm going to try not to
fall in the left side there.

Transfer to the left if I can,

try and avoid that big rut,

climb, climb, climb.

Get out, get out.

- [R2] Okay here we go, this
is quite a mud bog here.

I'm going to try not to
fall in the left side there.

- [Narrator] On a muddy
road to a remote jade claim

R2 is trying to keep a Bedford truck

and its trailer of diesel tanks upright.

- [R2] Climb, climb.

Get out, Get out.

There we go, we got the trailer out.

- [Narrator] Seven kilometers
into their second day

and the road to Wolverine
is quickly deteriorating.

- That is greasy stuff.

That was very low.

Right on this stretch
here I'm gonna pull over.

- [Narrator] The bunkhouse survived

but the fuel tank wasn't so lucky.

- [R2] Oh yeah, that was rough all right.

- [Guy] Holy (beep) it
is now a 700 liter tank.

- [Josh] Yeah.

- You know, as long as
we don't puncture it.

- [Narrator] The guys
hope to make it across

the fast rising Turnagain River today,

still another 30 kilometers down the road.

- Fuel up and then carry on.

- [Narrator] All the way up to

Claudia's remote jade mining claim.

- Look at this.

A wonderful sunny day in Beijing.


- [Narrator] On a business
trip to the smog-choked

Chinese capital earlier in the year,

Alan took Claudia and Robin to China's

cultural and historic center,

the 600-year old Forbidden City.

- [Alan] See the animal on the corner?

- Oh the animals on the corner, yeah.

- Yeah that's a son of dragon.

- Nine sons of the dragon?

- Yeah.

I want Claudia and Robin
to meet a jade expert.

This is Professor Sung.

- Hello, ni hao.

- [Narrator] Professor Sung Hyong

is the Forbidden City's
resident jade authority

and sees a bright future
for Canadian jade.

- What Professor Sung told us

is that Canadian jade is the best.

It's number one.

- [Narrator] And the professor
had an amazing invitation

for Claudia.

- [Claudia] Professor Sung told us

that when we find great jade this year

that he'd be honored to have us

have a show in the
Forbidden City, of our jade.

That's pretty fricken amazing.

I will dig 'til my hands bleed.

- [Narrator] Back on the road to Wolverine

and 15 kilometers away
from the Turnagain River

- [Guy] push it in?

- [Josh] Push it in yeah there you go.

- [Narrator] The Jade
City crew is elbow deep

in machinery problems.

- [Josh] Two bolts broke
and this split right here

jammed that thing in there and it came up.

It comes off and it gets wedged in there

and like a can opener peels the metal

on a couple of the other pads.

So this has now turned into

a little bit bigger of a problem.

So we just have to pound
the (beep) out of the pads,

get them leveled out.


- [Guy] Yeah you show 'em
who (beep) in the buckwheat.

- [Josh] (beep)

- Well even if a track breaks right off

we can carry on.

We'll try to make it
last as long as we can.


- [Narrator] Fixed for now,

the excavator's wobbly
track is about to face

its toughest challenge.

A stretch of road nicknamed Boulder Alley.

- [R2] Well, So we're in it now.

We're arrived at Boulder Alley and

they weren't lying.

There's boulders, it's rough.

I'm trying to keep it rated PG here.

(chains clanking)


I don't even want to think about

what it's like sitting on one
of those pieces of equipment.

I'm thankful I have tires.

- I see some cat took a short cut

so I thought I'd try it.

A little on the sketchy side.

- [R2] In order to preserve the tracks

he is doing some bushwhacking.

- [Guy] I think they
should have a chiropractor

on standby at the end of this road.

- [Josh] Real pad-eaters in here

like pointy rocks everywhere.

- [R2] I think we're out
of the worst of it guys,

it's some nice soft dirt here.

- [Narrator] R2 and Guy
have made it through.

Now they wait for Josh and the excavator.

- Wonderful little breeze, no mosquitoes.

- [Narrator] But Boulder
Alley has dished out

a deadly pounding on
the excavators tracks.

- So we made it though
Boulder Alley and I feel like

we're killin' it, like it's
going really good right now

and all of the sudden out of nowhere

the tracks comin' off and holy (beep)

- Well we serviced the equipment

but we didn't do like 100% service.

- [R2] We're figuring
we're maybe half way there.

- [Guy] Very frustrating.

So now we got to order a new sprocket.

Sprocket's worn right out,
that's why it flipped off.

- [Narrator] Five kilometers short

of the surging Turnagain River

and less than half way to Wolverine,

the crew's trek has been halted
in the middle of nowhere.

- Nice placed to break down

We are trapped out here together.

We are (beep).

(guitar twang music)

- [Josh] This whole rock guard,

this whole bracket here's
supposed to be straight.

- [Narrator] The excavator's
track has come off

just short of the Turnagain River,

The halfway marker to Wolverine.

- [Josh] Our biggest failure that could

potentially happen has happened.

The tracks come off so we're in trouble,

this is big.

(phone ringing)

- Hello Jade City

- [Robin] When they phoned
and said the excavator's down,

that was a big issue.

- Okay, bye.

Welcome to my world.

- Okay so what are we doing now?

- [Narrator] After a 24 hour delay

the crew gets a break.

Robin's tracked down the parts they need

and has them airlifted in.

(helicopter rudders whirling)

- New sprocket, rock guard,
bunch of new rollers,

and we can repair it.

- [Guy] Okay

You think this...
- Look at the whole edge.

- [Guy] Is the reason why?

- No, I think those are the reason why.

This track coming back on this machine

is a golden opportunity for me to prove

that I can get my hands
in there and get it done.

The only spot where we can really

put weight on it's up here.

'Cause this way we're lifting

- [Guy] Yeah.

- I wanted to get the job done

and come home reining champion.

So when I look over my shoulder and see

them rolling up,

here come my parents to save the day

and seize the moment.

Total buzzkill.

- [Robin] We will figure it out.

Hopefully, if we don't put
the track on backwards.

- [Guy] Kinda clear there?

- Kinda.

Use the short ones Eddie.

- Like this?
- Yeah.

- Robin's old school where
you just shut up and listen

and Joshua's 19, where
he knows everything.

- [Robin] Set her down.


- [Josh] Too heavy

- [Robin] Perfect.

- [Eddie] Yup, that's really good.

- Or not

- [Narrator] Robin's taking charge

and Josh is pushing back.

- What are you looking for?

- [Robin] This whole track, watch your...

- That's-- that's why I-- that's why I

wasn't (beep) touching it

he was just gonna move back an inch.

Why don't you...

- Teenagers now, you
can't tell them anything.

I can't undo it, you need to get...

- There you go now you can undo it.

- I will in a second.

- That's what you needed
to do from the very start.

I'm wrong, he's right.

You can have the same thing on the top

or you can have it on the bottom and I

- [Robin] No, no! Joshua!

- But even when I'm right
I'm wrong, and he's right.

- [Robin] No I need the
other end of that chain.

- [Josh] What are you talking about?

I got a bunch of slack here and I need to

grab that hook and pull
it through underneath.

- That hook comes to here.

- (beep) man.

I wasn't hooking it I was just
asking for some (beep) slack.

- Doesn't matter what I say, it's wrong

because I'm the parent.

He doesn't take into
fact that I am his boss.

- That's because it's
jammed up against there.

- Joshua, we're not going up.

- I know! I understand.

- He could end up unemployed
if he doesn't want to listen.


- Oh man.

My old man.

- You gotta get it up.

Go up some more.

There we go.

(loud clanking)

- Nice.
- Beauty.

- Holy (beep), yeah.

- [Guy] We're gonna
inch her way home, man.

- Un, deux,trois


- [Narrator] The Jade
City crew is stranded

55 kilometers out in the bush

and trying to get a new track

on their broken down excavator.

- [Josh] Yeah it's sitting
on the rail, on top of it.

- [Robin] It's almost all the way on.

- [Josh] That's it, no more pushing.

It's on, dad.

The sprocket fell into the track.

Hey I'm almost ready to roll.

- [Robin] Okay you can let her down now.

- You know the real professionals

would have had this done in an hour.

- [Josh] Well good thing
we're not calling ourselves

real professionals.

- Exactly.

- I am gone.

- [Narrator] With the
excavator repaired...

- Okay boss, let's go.

- Let's rattle some more rocks.

- [Narrator] The biggest
challenge of the trip

is just around the corner.

- We're taking off.

We're going to hit Turnagain River.

- [Narrator] Crossing the swollen river

this time of year will be tough.

- When you're crossing it

unless it's really low

you're definitely not the boss.

That river will take you.

You have to be very careful.

- Lot of water runoff
coming down right now.

- [Narrator] The last
stop before the river

is a small camp where
locals have been quadding.

- Traffic jam at the snow mobile cabin.

- [Narrator] And they've just discovered

first hand how devastating
the river can be.

- [R2] Three out of four went down today.

This is a victim of the Turnagain.

We're ah,
- Yeah.

- This is what we're looking forward to.

- And just the day before

two guys had flipped their quads over

- That one, the green one, the black one.

- There was quads jacked up in trees,

winched up there draining out.

They're ripping them apart
trying to get water out.

There was some serious carnage.

- That's that Turnagain River.

- There's deep holes in there,

you gotta be careful.

You can get very wet.

- We're going to the Turnagain.

This is it, man.

Hopefully she doesn't eat us up.

- [Narrator] To help fend
off the hungry river,

Claudia and Robin asked the campers

for assistance getting across.

- That's the river,

looks like a lot of volume in it.

- [Narrator] The Turnagain is running fast

with runoff from melting snow.

- [Claudia] If you don't keep on that path

and know, sort of know
where the rocks are,

(Claudia laughing)

you're tipped over.

You're going down the river.

You're pulled under.

- It is going to be exciting.

- [Claudia] We're ready.

- Thank you.

(Claudia laughing)

Enjoy you're dip.

- [Claudia] We're moving.

Oh my God!

(Claudia yells)

- [Narrator] Next time on Jade Fever.

- [Claudia] Oh my! Oh my, Josh!

- [Josh] It's okay.

No no, slow down, don't pu-- stop, stop.

- [Claudia] You gotta
see these grizzly paws.

(gun clicking)

- Over there.


- The road has been so (beep).

- [Robin] I can't steer.

If it's not level the
whole machine just slides.

- Yeah it's (beep).

- Turn around

Okay, okay, okay!

- [Josh] No way!

- Oh my God.

I wouldn't do it you're gonna fall over.

(loud creaking)