Gold Rush: White Water (2018–…): Season 4, Episode 15 - To the Edge - full transcript

Determined to add to his season's record-breaking gold haul, Dustin pushes his luck to the very edge, as a freak accident sends him hurtling out of control towards the 80 foot drop at McKinley falls.

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[dustin] oh, my [bleep]!

That's rough!

Don't fall in.

[bleep] dang!

Oh, no!

It's destroyed.

[carlos] holy [bleep]!

[exclaiming]

Oh, gosh!

[dustin] right now,
we don't have a dredge.

The water's too high.



The snow's almost down to us.

This might be quitting time,
man.

[narrator] in alaska's
chilkat mountains,

Dustin hurt and his crew

Are battling
the first storms of winter

After investing a month

Digging out the plunge pool
at the chute.

They were inches
from a bedrock pay day.

[carlos] that hole of ours,

That beautiful [bleep]
gold cache of ours, gone.

Getting kind of late in
the season but we can't leave.

We've got the chute going.

We got to try to
get them prepared.

[dustin] I don't know, wes.



I don't know if we can
come back from this, man.

This looks pretty bad.

We may not
be able to fix this.

[wes] this is [bleep], man.

This might be the end
of our season, today.

Today, our season is done.

[dustin] two dives away
from finishing the chute.

Probably the coolest anomaly
we've ever gotten into.

My dredge got snapped in half.

Fred's taken off for home,
and my crew wants to
leave, too.

Maybe this is a [bleep]
good excuse to do that.

[narrator]
on the season finale
of gold rush: White water.

It's all about will power.
How much do you want the gold?

This is what
we have to deal with.

[bleep]

[fred] the snow, it's here.

You're about to get dumped on.

[narrator] five years ago...

[dustin] my [bleep]!
Look at that.

-[narrator] ...Father and son
set out on a dream...
-[dustin] yee-ha!

[narrator] ...To find
a pot of gold at
the bottom of mckinley creek.

[dustin] can't believe
you got me to gold dive.

It's like getting
hooked on crack.

[narrator] the dream
has turned into
a groundbreaking hunt...

[dustin laughing]

-...For a fortune in gold.
-Woo!

Woo! Oh, yeah!

Oh, my god!

[narrator] dustin's crew took
on the fiercest of water...

The water is just so fast.

-Oh!
-[indistinct shouting]

Pull him up. Pull him up!

As soon as you panic here
you pretty much die.

[narrator] ...That led to
the richest ground ever.

[dustin] that's
some big [bleep] gold, boy!

-Yee-ha!
-Yeah!

[narrator] while fred chased
bedrock 20 feet deep...

[man] let's get some gold!

If we can get to the bottom of
this thing we can get gold.

[narrator] ...That got him
the biggest
nuggets of his life...

[fred] oh! Big chunk of gold.

[narrator] ...Before the walls
collapsed around them...

-Oh, my god! Oh!
-Hey, help him.

-[narrator] ...Ending
their season.
-[grunts]

It's not looking good.

[narrator]
now, winter has hit...

[dustin] take a look
at that waterfall.

I don't think you're gonna
see it like that again.

[narrator] ...And as fred says
goodbye to alaska

For what could be
his last season ever...

I wanted to prove there was
gold in the bottom, and I did.

[narrator] ...Dustin must make
a decision that could
mean life...

It's either get this thing
ready or go home.

[narrator] ...Or death.

One slip here, dude,
I'm done for.

Oh!

[bleep] I can't hold it!

[screaming]

[dustin] I ain't gonna lie.

If there was a time to leave,
now would be it.

[laughing] it's snowing,

It's raining, it's flooding.

My dredge just broke in half.

We can't leave this.

We've got a bunch of gold
sitting there waiting for us.

[carlos] we're at that split
in the road, man.

Take a left. Take a right,
man. We're at that split
in the road.

Where do we go?

I don't know how much
damage there is,

But, uh, we're in an area
right now at the chute

That we just absolutely
do not want to leave.

And there's a lot of ounces
worth every second.

[carlos] I would rather take
the "what if" out of
the equation.

[wes] yeah, I agree with you.

-Dig the hole?
-Yeah.

[dustin] okay.

Let's get this thing
out of the water.

Find out if we can fix it.

[narrator] in rockfall ravine,

Raging white water
from an early winter storm

Has wreaked havoc
on dustin's dive site.

The fate of their season
and their final gold total

Now depend on their
severely damaged dredge.

Well, I'm gonna pull this
dredge out of the water

And see how much I can fix.

How much is impossible to fix.

I think I had a come-along
sitting right there

That we're missing right now.

Can you see if there's a...

If there's a come-along?
I think it was sitting
right there.

[carlos] holy crap!

This is crazy!

-Can't doubt it.
-Oh, I got it.

-You got it!
-Oh, hey.

[dustin] I'll be damned.
Look at that.

Can you believe that [bleep]?

All right.

Let's take the sluice box off

And we'll drag the dredge up,

And we get it out
of water somehow.

[james] that jet flare
is done for, gone.

[dustin] all right, let's go.

Come on, baby.

[wes] that'll work.

[dustin] do you need
more level?

Not really.

Engines are leveled.
They're leveled enough
to even check the oil.

[dustin] what do
you think, wes?

[wes] engines look all right.

Sluice box is broke,
but I don't see

Too many things that are
torn up too bad.

I wanna take the engines
up to camp

And make sure we don't have
water in the gas.

Water in the oil.

I believe we can
get it back going, though.

-Yeah?
-Yeah,

I think we can scrounge
enough stuff to get it
back together.

-Hell, yeah!
-[bleep] I love you, man.

The glass just got half full.

[dustin] all right.
We need a new jet flare.

There may or may not be
water inside the engines.

This dredge has been
through hell, man.

I think fred's got some parts
that we might be able to use

To fix our sluice box.

That's the biggest issue
with our dredge right now.

Everything else looks like
it's pretty much salvageable.

[carlos] we still got time
in the season, man,
to pull this out.

We still got time
in the season

To have a good winter.

The guys, they're dead set
on digging this hole,

So I'm gonna make it happen,
if I can.

[narrator]
while dustin pushes on,

Determined to add
to his 33 ounce gold total,

A half mile upstream...

[fred] how goes the clean up?

[man] yeah, we're seeing
a lot of gold

As it trickles its way down
the sluice box here.

-Yes!
-[laughing]

[narrator] after almost
being buried alive

At the bottom of their
22-foot dive hole,

Fred has made the difficult
decision to end their season,

Just as they uncovered
the best ground of
their lives.

[fred] well,
we hit the bedrock.

We found a jackpot
in the bottom of that hole.

And, boy, was I impressed
with the nuggets we got
out of there.

[scott] looking good, boys.

I'm expecting this cleanup
to be the best one of
the season.

We got on our best gold
right at the end there.

So, this should produce
a really good cleanup.

-Oh!
-Saw that plate go down.

-Oh, that plate? Yeah.
-Yeah.

There's a lot of gold in that.

All right. We'll get it
all dried out and then
we'll take a look

-And see how much
we got total.
-All right.

[fred] it's been
a long season.

Tough, hard season
on all of us.

We came out looking for...

I don't know what everybody
else was looking for,

I was looking for
a pot of gold,

About that big, full of gold.

-I think we all were.
-Yeah.

Well, what we got
is just this,

And we got this.

It's all we got.

[scott] you're kidding me.

[bleep]

It's not a whole lot of it.
Probably four, five ounces.

Uh, doesn't look like much,

But the nuggets
are just super impressive.

We were just trying to
prove that there was
gold in trifecta,

And we did it.

[paul] for just a little area
that we had cleaned off
of bedrock,

That is a lot of gold.

Essentially,
what we did is like

What you would do on
a normal mine site.

We drilled the hole
with the dredge.

We tested material,
and it proves to have

A lot of gold per yard.

So, if we can find a way
to move all that overburden,

We could get down to
that bucket of gold,

We know is down there.
We know it's there now

After seeing that.
Look at that, that's...

-[ryan] that is chunky.
-That is chunky.

-Yeah, that ain't flat.
-Uh-uh.

[ryan] that's got some width,
and some height.
That's beautiful.

You were right, fred, man.

You said if we got down to
bedrock we'd get nuggets.

-And we sure as hell did.
-[fred] yeah.

The main thing is we found out

That there is gold in
the trifecta here.

But the hole is just not safe.

The walls are crumbling.

We have no business
being down there.

Just time for us to get
the hell out of here.

[all] yeah.

[scott]
pretty bittersweet today.

We got to see all the gold
that we got this season,

Which, I mean,
it wasn't very much.

It wasn't what
we were hoping for.

But, we at least proved

That there's really good
gold here at trifecta.

[fred] it's not a lot of gold,
four, five ounces there,

But, uh, I had a theory.

I wanted to prove
the theory was right.

Theory was damn right.

The bottom of trifecta
is littered with gold.

I had to call it
an unsafe dive site.

I personally will never
mine in this hole again.

I always wanted to prove
there was gold

In the bottom of trifecta

And I did.

[ryan] last day!

-[scott] last day.
-[paul] last day.

-[fred] oh, yeah.
-Y'all made it.

-Yeah.
-Oh!

What's going on, guys?

-Yeah!
-How's it going, fred?

Ryan, how you all doing?

-What's going on, wes?
-What's going on, guys?

-How you doing, buddy?
-[carlos] all right,
all right, man.

So you guys are done
for the season, man.

[fred] let's just
put it this way.

You saw what
we were diving into,

You would say, "holy [bleep]."

The walls were
coming down on us.

He touched anything
and, poof, it fell.

Yeah.

That's exactly how come
I called it.

The walls are getting
too dangerous to work around.

Can we... Can we put
trifecta to rest?

Trifecta is, uh,
for big equipment.

That's... I mean...

I wouldn't put my dredge
back in it.

[fred] I wouldn't...
I wouldn't, either.

We've gone in there.

Basically done
a prospecting job,

Found out there's gold

Mostly all on the bottom,
within two feet of the bottom.

[dustin] speaking of gold.
How'd you all do, man?

You know, we had hoped that...

My hope was I was
gonna dig down there

And I was going to find
that bucket full of
leprechaun gold.

Well, I didn't hit
the lottery.

[all laughing]

[carlos]
let's see what you got.

-[fred] there it is.
-Holy cow.

Holy crap.

[fred] damn, maybe I do need
to get a [bleep] excavator
in there.

[carlos] look at that
freaking... Look at that
freaking nugget.

Look at this freaking nugget.

[indistinct chatter]

Dude, you should be
proud of that, man.

[fred] we are proud of that.

[dustin] but I dig
that you all did.

I'm gonna tell you the truth.
That's ten times more

Than I thought you were
gonna get in that area.

And that's awesome.

[james] we've been up there.

You didn't way the hell better
than we did.

[carlos] dude,
you guys proved it, man.

All I can say, we've, uh,
a decent year.

A good year.

Uh, and a happy year.

We've found out what
we needed to find out.

There is gold on the bottom.

We're going to have to
pick it up and haul ass.

Hey, y'all get down there
and find that pile of pot...

Leprechaun gold
that I didn't get.

[all laughing]

-I'm glad y'all had
a good season.
-[all] yeah.

-We appreciate
all your advice.
-Yeah.

All right, guys. Good luck.

-We'll see you.
-Happy travels.

-Yeah, guys.
-You all take care.

[dustin] I'm glad for fred.
He proved that there is
gold there.

I spent two seasons there

And didn't get hardly
that much gold.

[fred] it's bittersweet.

Been a long season.

Didn't get a lot of gold,
but we sure proved a point.

[narrator] up ahead...

[james] I cannot believe it.

I got three big nuggets
in this hole here.

Three nuggets! We're there!

-Yeah. I'm coming up.
-Copy that.

Clear the hole! Stop!

-[bleep]
-hey!

[ryan] I'm ready. Let's, uh,

Get that sucker loaded
and hit the road.

Get out of here.

[narrator]
after five months in
the remote alaskan wilderness,

Fred prepares to get out
while he still can.

The snow, it's here.

What that tells us?

"fred, pack up and leave.
You about to get dumped on."

I'm happy with the way,
uh, everything went this year.

It took a hell
of a team effort

To get down to the bottom
of that hole,

But we did prove that
there's a lot of gold there.

[ryan] you know,
it's kind of bittersweet,

But at least we got them
nice, big nuggets.

And that put a smile on
all of our faces.

So, in my eyes,
that's a great season.

[scott] end of my first season
as a gold miner.

It's sweet 'cause I get to go
home to my wife and kids,

But it's bitter because
I wanna go home

With a hell of
a lot more gold.

[fred] wish dustin
and his crew tons of gold.

We found out
where the gold is also

In the bottom of trifecta.

Whether I'll be here
next year or not, stay tuned.

[wes] so they're
pulling out already?

You know, he seems to think
it's gonna snow any day now.

Yeah, I don't know.

I mean,
it's getting cold quick.

Sooner than normal
seems like, but...

I wanna finish this
before it snows.

Yeah, I do, too.

And I hope there's
something down there.

We leave,
we'll never find out.

I know. I know.

[narrator] while fred's crew
head south,

Dustin is staying longer
than ever before,

Hoping to get a pile of gold
in the chute

That would change their lives
and send them home rich.

[dustin]
everybody's exhausted.

This just seems like
we shouldn't be here anymore.

But I want to be
able to dig this hole.

[narrator] but the rest of
their season depends on

If wes can repair
their broken dredge

And drowned engines.

[wes] drained the oil,
drained the fuel.

If they don't start, it could
be the end of our season.

[dustin] what about
the jet flare?

[narrator] the part that
connects the hose

To the sluice box
is broken beyond repair.

Uh, we broke the jet flare
on the sluice box.

Thankfully, fred gave me
permission to go down

And take the jet flare
off of his dredge,

So, hopefully we can get
this thing back on track.

[wes] so fred
has something, huh?

[james] yeah.

-What do you think?
-That's exactly what we need.

-Oh, hell, yeah.
-It has the hooks, too.

All right, man. Let's get
this thing hooked up.

[carlos] good thing that, uh,
fred's not using it no more.

It seems like timing was
in our favor.

[dustin] how we looking, man?

[wes] it's done, man.
It's ready to go.

As far as it goes now
we're ready to dredge.

We just need the engine
to work right.

[carlos] we'll send james
across real quick.

He can get
the engines out himself.

We'll bringing him back up,
help wes load the thing up,

And then we'll meet you
down there, dude.

So we sent the two engines
back down.

Uh, did a little bit of
work to the sluice box.

Got it put back together.

We're going to see
if we can, uh,

Get the dredge back
working today.

All right, now we can get back
in the damn water.

We need to finish this chute.

If we can fight through
this water,

I know there's gold
down there.

-Whee!
-Look at that snow over there.

[laughs]

Oh. [laughs]
look at all that snow.

[wes] I know, right?

-[carlos] holy [bleep]!
Man, it's still raging.
-[wes] yeah.

[carlos] holy moly.
She still looks angry, dude.

You can dive that, james.

[james] it'd be a rough one,

But I probably could.

-You just wanna do
the engines first?
-Yeah.

[james] tell us what you need

-And we'll get you
what you need.
-[wes] um, the engine.

[james laughs]

Wes fixed the sluice box.

We're just putting back
humpty dumpty back
together again.

[wes] let me see.

Move back and forth,
and I think it'll go right on.

Oh, you'll have to get out.

-That's it.
-That's pretty good.

Just tighten the clamps
and we're good.

[dustin] well, you guys
got it back together

Just perfectly, man.

It actually looks
a little stronger than it was.

All right, guys,

Let's get this thing
back in the water!

[narrator] the dredge
may be assembled

But wes can only test
the drowned engines

Once it is back on the water.

[wes] looking good, man.

[carlos] no. That's it, man.

I think that's it.

Let me check it.
I think we're here.

That's looking good.
All right, keep it
right there.

I'd be happy with this.

-[rumbling]
-oh!

We got it back in the water.

We fueled up and ready to go?

Moment of truth.

-Let's see if she starts up.
-Moment of truth.

Ready?

Yeah, I think so.

No luck.

I'm sure it'll work.

Come on!

I don't have time for this.

[engine starts]

-There it goes.
-[carlos exclaiming]

[laughing]

I love it!

I love it, love it,
love it, love it.

Time to suit up, man.
You ready to dive?

We are back in the game.

Just like the dredge,

It looked like
a disaster yesterday,

But today, it's brand-new.

We're hungry.

We are hungrier than ever.

Mother nature kicked our butt.

But now we're gonna dredge
with a vengeance.

[dustin]
hopefully with any luck,

We'll be able to
dig out the chute,

Find out what's at the bottom.

Hopefully, there's a whole
bunch of gold down there

'cause we are
putting a tremendous

Amount of effort
to get down there.

[engine starts]

-[carlos] there it goes.
-[wes] there it goes.

[dustin] turn the engines up
higher, all the way!

[narrator] at the chute,

Dustin and his crew
are back in the game.

With the end of
the season looming,

They need to get to
the bottom of the plunge pool

An add to their gold count.

[dustin] so, we're flooded out
really, really bad.

Uh, broke our dredge.

Put it back together.

It looks like it's gonna work

And we're about to
give it a go.

Going for that hard push.

We know it's freezing.

It's frozen on top, for sure.

It's cold enough down here.

I feel like it's freezing
down here.
This is our last shot.

We need to dig this out

Or get out of here.

That's it.

[carlos] man, it's starting
to get cold, dude.

Cold.

[narrator]
with the white water
raging through the chute,

Dustin taps in his youngest
and fittest diver, james,

For the battle
to reach bedrock.

We gotta get busy now.

I'm about to go in there
and tear it up.

It's all about willpower.

How much do you want the gold?

This is what
we have to deal with.

-[dustin] ready for this?
-Yeah.

[dustin] you got
a rough ride, man.

It's gonna be cold and rough.

[james] it's gonna be
pretty bad.

All right, face that way.
Gonna load you up.

[carlos] good. Tight.

Well, with any luck, you make
it down to the bottom, man.

Just take as much as
you can get out of it.

[james] the water looks crazy.

All right, here we go.

Locked on, everything good.

All clear. Let's go.

How you feeling, man?

[james] terrified.

[dustin] so, I'm guessing

You're gonna try to get on
that other side first, right?

[james] yeah. Try to get out
of that white water.

-Yeah. Do not get tangled up
in that white hose.
-All right.

I think we're good to go.

Carlos, you got him?

But I wouldn't jump
in that water hard.

I'd go into it
as soft as you can.

Here we go.

[james grunts]

[dustin] yep. He's going down.
All right. Carlos has you.

Keep going forward.

-[james exclaims]
-yeah. Yeah.

Now that's... Is that gravel
or is that bedrock?

[james] that is all gravel.

[narrator]
over the last month,

They've dug 13 feet
down into the plunge pool,

But every time a storm
creates a raging torrent,

It carries down rocks
from upstream.

[james] I think it is
filled in around four feet.

But it's just kitty litter.

Uh, it should
dredge up pretty quick.

[narrator] the flood has
filled their 13-foot
plunge pool

With four feet of
rocks and gravel.

James must dredge down
through this material

To get to the gold on bedrock.

[james] okay.

-All right, I'm dredging now.
-All right.

I'm hoping it's all just
little bitty rock,

We call it kitty litter.

And, uh...

Hopefully he can get us back
to where we were.

So we need to know what's
at the bottom of this thing.

Uh, the chute is

A mysterious anomaly

In this creek that
we never saw coming,

And there could be a huge
payoff in the bottom.

All of our hopes lie on,

Is there gold
at the bottom of this hole?

[james] awesome. [laughs]

I'm just getting rid
of all this kitty litter.

I've got good, good suction.

Everything's going
good right now.

James' having a good dive

And he's moving
a lot of material.

[james] oh,
that's why I'm cold.

Are you saying you're cold?

No, I just noticed I didn't
get taped up on my right

Very well,
so I think that's why.

[dustin] oh, that's carlos'
problem. He did [bleep].

He's pretty bad at taping.

[narrator]
james' diving glove

Is letting in freezing water.

Exposure to water at
a temperature of 35 degrees

Can lead to hypothermia
in minutes.

-[dustin] you want more tape
on your right side?
-[james] yeah.

[dustin] okay, come up, man.

[indistinct shouting]

-[dustin] [bleep] james!
-[james] [bleep]

[carlos shouting indistinctly]

-[carlos] james!
-[dustin] pull him up,
pull him up.

[james breathing]

[dustin] coming up to you.

-[james groans]
-[dustin] just stand there
for a second.

-[dustin] don't let him
go though.
-[carlos] no, no.

[dustin] if he falls,
I don't want him shooting
down that [bleep] line.

Ready to come up?

[james] uh, not yet.

[dustin] carlos,
you wanna learn how
to do this right?

[carlos laughs]

[james] it is cold.

[dustin] all right,
put your hand over it
when you go in the water.

This is what pulled out.

[james] all right,
I need one second.

[dustin] uh-huh. No, no,
take your time, man.

Just don't get wrapped up
in the other umbilical
down there.

[james] wow, that water
is pretty cold.

[dustin] yeah, bad, man.

-[james] but I dug
myself a hole so...
-[dustin] all right.

[james] rock n' roll.
[breathing]

Wow. I'm digging to china.

Well, I'll get it done
today for sure.

I swear you can
almost see snow.

I don't know
what the hell it is.

It just seems like
a lot of snow coming.

I don't know. I'm not trying
to jinx us or nothing

But you get that taste
in the air like it's about
to snow.

[wes] it's getting extremely
cold up here.

[carlos] it's cold as hell
up here, dude.

[dustin] how's your
temperature, man?

[james] it's just chilly, man.
Really cold.

[james grunting]

[dustin] what's the matter?
Are you starting to shiver?

[james exclaims in pain]

[groans] it hurts.

[dustin] see if you can push
past it, man. Just focus,
get your breathing.

It hurts like hell.

[james] I'm getting
a lot water.

-[dustin] okay, okay.
-[james] I'm [bleep] frozen.

[wes] that's the thing
you got to watch out for,
is hypothermia.

-[dustin] he's about
to freeze to death.
-[wes] yep.

[dustin] I want to
[bleep] end this.
That's what I want.

[james breathing] guys, hey.

-[dustin] what you got, man?
-[james] you ain't
gonna believe it.

[dustin] what you got?

[james laughs] no way.
No way, dude.

We got three big
nuggets of gold here.

God, man. Oh, my [bleep]!

[carlos] well, three nuggets.

-[wes] is he serious?
-Three nuggets. We're there.

[wes] I knew it, I knew it.
[bleep] yeah.

[dustin] all right, well,
hopefully, you don't drop 'em

In all this
crazy water, man.

-[dustin] that's awesome.
-[james laughs]

-Good job, james.
-[james] I'm coming up.

[dustin] copy that. Coming up.
We're gonna help you up.

[carlos] hell, yeah.
Hell, yeah!

[wes] we're back on the gold.

-[all cheering]
-[wes] holy [bleep]!

[carlos] woo-hoo, james.
Gold hound.

-[dustin] check that out.
-[wes] hell, yeah, man.

-[wes] that's nice, man. Yeah.
-[dustin] look
at that, carlos.

Hey, nugget king
of the chute, bro.
Nugget king of the chute.

[dustin] this just proves
what we got in the chute.

There is gold down there.
There is gold, good gold.

How much more? I knew there
had to be good pay.

[wes] there's got to be
a [bleep] ton more.

I love knowing
there's gold down there.

-[chuckles] we're on the gold.
-[bleep] yeah, buddy.

-Good job.
-[james laughs]

[carlos] great frickin' day.

There was a time
that everybody wanted
to go home.

Broken dredge, crazy water,
we thought that was it.

Look at us now. Gold.

He found gold near the bottom.

Three big nuggets
all together.

We're back in the gold.

It's gonna be a hell
of a struggle to dig
this thing out.

But we're gonna try like hell.

[james] we got gold
waiting for us.
Let's get after it.

We're so [bleep] close now.

-A pile of gold
waiting for us.
-[dustin] I'll bet there is.

-We are getting close.
-Big nuggets.

[narrator] working on
borrowed time,

Dustin is in a race
against winter,

Scrambling for one last
big payday at the chute,

To add to their record season.

[dustin] hey, man, take a look
at that damn waterfall.

I don't think you're gonna
see it like that again.

It must be raining like hell
up at the top.

We got to finish this.
See how much we can take.

-[carlos] woo-hoo,
look at all that snow.
-[james] yeah.

-[carlos] damn.
-[dustin] pretty serious.

[carlos] dang [bleep] dang.
Holy [bleep]!

Holy crap.

[james] I can't believe
that's still sitting there.

-[james] holy.
-[carlos] oh, man.

[narrator] for the second time
this week,

A winter storm
has turned the creek
into a raging torrent.

[wes] where do y'all think
the superclaw is?

[dustin] where was
it connected?

[wes] I don't know
where the superclaw was,
but you know what?

-I bet that [bleep] is gone.
-[dustin] oh [bleep]
it's gone.

[narrator] the force of
the water has swept away

Wes' custom-made superclaw.

[wes] there's no telling
where it went.

[dustin] all right, let's talk
bigger picture.

We know the dredge
is not gonna sit right.

-[carlos] no.
-[dustin] it won't work.

I've racked my brain.

I cannot make this work
with this dredge in this spot.

[narrator] the raging
whitewater threatens

To rip their dredge
to pieces at any moment.

It's either get
this thing ready,
or go home.

Right now,
that's our only two choices.

I vote to stay here and try
this because I don't want
to have to go all winter-long

Thinking, what the [bleep]
is in the bottom of that hole?

I want to dive that chute.
I'd love to see what's in
that chute.

[wes] what are you thinking?

So, the only thing
I can figure out is,

If we lengthen
the big suction hose,

And put the dredge
way back here

Way back in the nugget bowl,

And just see if we can
run it like that.

I know it's a bunch of work.

Anybody got any better ideas?

[wes] no, I like that idea.

We'll probably be more likely
to keep our dredge alive
if we do that.

It can be a lot
of damn work but...

All right, I think
we can do this.

-[wes] I think so.
-We can dive in that.

-The problem
is the dredge right now.
-[wes] yeah.

So let's take the dredge
out of that hard water

And put it back here
and try to extend it.

-All right, we got
a solid plan.
-[wes] I think so.

Operation move dredge
back downstream,
lengthen hoses.

This will be a bunch
of work, man.

[carlos] where the dredge is
right now, it just won't work.

We can dive this,
we can dive it.

We're not scared
of not diving it.

We can dive this,
but the dredge has to
be working 100%.

James, can you hop up there
and click on that thing?

Pick it up as much
as you think you can.

[narrator] first,
dustin's crew must attach
the one-ton dredge

To a pulley on the skyline
using a come-along,

Raise it out
of the raging water
over the bridge...

[dustin] get after it.

[narrator] ...And lower it
into the calmer waters.

[dustin] I can deal with that.

-[wes] wow, that looks good.
-[dustin] all right, james.
I got a job for you, bro.

You stand right here.

You can be able
to let this out
at a controlled rate.

You are in control
of it going that way.

-You understand?
-Yeah.

Gonna be a lot of weight.

-So you got to hold this.
-[james] I'm ready.

-Gonna be a tough one.
-I know.

-[dustin] lift up on that
a little bit.
-Yeah, I got it, man.

All right. Whatever
you're doing, I'm ready.

-[dustin] whatever
I'm doing, huh?
-[carlos] yeah.

-Don't let it hit you.
-Okay.

[dustin] cut it.

[dredge thumping down]

Beautiful. Start letting
it out a little bit.

[carlos] up and over.

Don't get run over.

If he slips all of a sudden,
where are you going?

If it slips real hard,
where you going?

[carlos] one slip here, dude,
I'm done for.

[carlos grunts]

-[james] it slipped.
-[carlos] what?

[dredge creaks]

[carlos groans] there's
slack holding it down.

-I see it.
-[carlos] oh, right
here, dude.

[wes] just a minor
rope problem.

[narrator] they forgot
to release the anchor line

That prevents the dredge
from floating downstream,

And over mckinley falls.

[wes] right, that could be
our whole issue right there.

That's it. Yeah.

Woo-hoo.

[carlos] all right,
let's do this. Up and over.

Got to be easier ways
to make a living.

[all laughing]

[whoops]

[dustin] watch out.

-[carlos chuckles nervously]
-carlos, where you gonna go?
You gonna ride it?

[carlos] trying to make
a counter-balance, is all.

There it is, there it is.

Woo-hoo. It's done!

That's it. That's enough.
Tie it off, please.

[dustin] it's gonna take
a long time to get it down

-Because we're using this.
-[wes] hey, absolutely.

[narrator] all that's left
is for dustin to release
the come-along

And lower the dredge
into the water.

[wes] put her over there
and we're good.

Carlos, you're gonna
have to pull from there,
and walk it over.

[dustin] let go,
let go, let go.

Hey, I want to get
off of this thing before
he takes it, so.

[wes] plug it in.

[all yelling]

[bleep] I can't hold it.

[carlos] [bleep] ah! [bleep]

[dustin] yeah, I want to get
off of this thing before
he takes it, so.

[narrator] in the
raging rapids,

Just 120 yards
above mckinley falls,

The fate of dustin's season
hangs by a thread.

[wes] plug it in.

[all yelling]

[carlos] [bleep] I can't
hold it! [bleep]

Ah! [bleep]

-[wes] pull him in, man.
-[carlos grunting]

[carlos grunting]

Yeah, I'm good.

[carlos] come on,
get a hold of this.

[wes] get it over there,
tied, and we'll let it go.
It'll go that side.

[dustin] tie it, tie it off.

-[carlos grunting] [bleep]
-[dustin] go that way.

-[carlos] all right.
-[dustin] get across.

Walk across!

[carlos] [bleep] I don't know.
Where to tie it off to.

[dustin] tie it off
some [bleep] where.

[carlos] I got it, I got it.
[grunts] there you go.

All right, all right.
Cut it, cut it off.

[dustin] let go, let go.
[bleep] let go.

[wes] [bleep] cable broke.
The [bleep] cable broke.

Dustin, you all right?
You all right?

[carlos] I thought I was
going in for a swim, man.

[wes] luckily, I had
that green rope, too.

I may be old
but when I need to,
I got some strength.

[carlos] true, if he wasn't
there, dude,

I couldn't hold
that thing myself.

[james] [bleep] dude.
That was some sketchy [bleep].

[carlos] let's take
a breather, dude.

[dustin] [bleep] need it.

[carlos whoops]

-That the rib?
-Yeah, just a rib hit.

-[carlos] holy-moly, man.
-[dustin] I need
to take a sit down.

[dustin] it just popped loose,
and put me in some raging
whitewater

That knocked
the wind out of me,

And the guys almost lost me
and the dredge

Over the top
of this waterfall,

Which would have been
the death of me, for sure.

[carlos] did that just happen?
Did all that just happen?

Are we still alive? Am I dead?

-I thought we [bleep] lost--
-[wes] [bleep] good job.
We saved dustin.

[james] we saved dustin
big-time [bleep].

[wes] it took off
like a rocket, man.
Flipped him over forward.

-We need to go check and see.
I know I hit his ribs.
-[carlos] yeah, yeah.

[wes sighs with relief]

-[wes laughing]
-[james] god, now I can
feel that, buddy.

-[wes] sorry about
that, man. [bleep]
-[carlos laughs]

You just saved
my [bleep] life today.

-[carlos] I can't stop
laughing, man. [bleep]
-[dustin] holy [bleep].

You just saved my life, man.

[wes] I couldn't let go
of that for nothing, man.

[dustin] oh, my [bleep].
All I could think was,

"this is gonna be the worst
ride I've ever taken.

It's gonna be the shortest
ride I've ever taken, too."

-[carlos laughs]
-[dustin] holy [bleep].

[dustin] I'm gonna
feel this later. [laughs]

-[wes] oh, man.
-[dustin] oh, man.

[dustin] [bleep] you guys
just saved my life, man.

[carlos] [bleep] yeah, we were
just scared as [bleep].

Man, I can't stop
laughing though.

-[dustin sighs]
-I can't believe
that happened.

-[dustin] that was a bunch.
-[wes] I know.

[wes] guys, tonight our hands
are gonna be like...

All I could think...
I looked up and saw it
zinging through your hands,

And you yelling,
"I can't hold it."

I was like, "this is gonna
be the wildest ride
I ever took, man."

-That thing just zipped down,
like...
-[dustin laughs]

"no way that just
happened, man.
I can't hold it."

[dustin] that was
pure adrenaline.

[wes] yeah, adrenaline kicks
in and you can do [bleep] that
you don't think you can do.

Unhuman. [bleep]

I mean, dustin's weight,
the weight of the dredge.

Dude, there ain't no telling
how many thousands
of pounds force

That we just held back.

-[bleep] where we could
normally could not do that.
-[dustin] oh, man.

[dustin] thank you, guys,
for saving my life.
How about that?

What the hell, man.

Yeah, this place just...
[bleep]

[bleep] that was crazy, dude.
That was crazy.

That did it for me, man.

I thought you were a goner.

[bleep]

[dustin] too many things
going wrong.

The water won't stop
coming up.

Just getting dangerous, man.
Just getting dangerous.

I think it's just gonna keep
hitting us and hitting us

And hitting us for the next
two weeks, three weeks.

And to tell you the truth,
I think I'm calling
the season, man.

I think this is over with.

No, I agree with you, man.
Let's not go through
that again.

-Let's not do that again, so.
-[dustin] let's just not
do that again, man.

Let's call it before anything
really bad happens here.

Let's go check out
the gold that we have,
and see what we have.

Do all the processing,

And, uh, let's find out
what we did for the season.

-[dustin] we're out of here.
-[wes] all right.

What happened to dustin

Kind of shook me up because
we could have lost him.

But he's all right.

He's one tough [bleep]
that's for sure.

Thank god he's all right.
He called it. That's it.

[carlos] enough is enough.

You just can't fight
mother nature.

That's just live
and fight another day.

This is good gold,
but it's not worth
anybody's life.

And we came as close today
and we ever have

Of losing anybody, which is
just absolutely terrifying.

It'll be there next year,
and we'll get down to it.

But we're tapped out
for this year.

It's done.

Now I need to find out
how much gold we got
out of it.

[dustin] james, I need you
to fire up the trommel.

-[carlos] you know how to run
this setup, james?
-[james] yeah.

Let's run the rest of our
concentrates and find out
how much gold we have.

[narrator] at mckinley camp,

James hamm is cleaning up
the last of the season's gold

After wes richardson
was called home to texas

For a family emergency.

This should be, uh,
the last bit of concentrate

That we're running
at the end of the season here,
and we'll see what we got.

That was something.

There it is.

[dustin] that is some
good-looking gold, man.

Let's, uh, get it out
of the sluice box, dry it out.

And, uh, let's find out
what our total weight is.

[narrator] back in April,
the pandemic

Put their whole gold-mining
season in doubt.

Now, six months later,
dustin's crew is about
to discover

If they have beaten
last season's gold total
of 33.6 ounces,

And had their best year ever.

[dustin] we made it
through the season.

Got into the chute,
even though I didn't
want to dig there.

It turned into
something beautiful.

And then it turned
into a nightmare.

Dropped the damn dredge,
almost lost my life.

You guys saved my life.

Almost went over
the damn 50-foot waterfall.

I thought for sure you was
taking the fricking boat-ride
of your life, man.

-Wes stopped it, man.
-[carlos] yeah.

-Wes put the brakes on it...
-Yeah.

...And between the two of you,
you were able to stop me.

[carlos] you'll be hurting
for a couple of weeks.

Yeah, but this, uh,
that's what we had
in the nugget bowl.

-[james] oh, my [bleep]
-[carlos] [bleep] heavy.

Oh, my [bleep].

That's 29 and a half ounces.

I mean, you could do curls
with that. That's heavy.

[dustin] so there's 29
and a half in there,

And I actually haven't
weighed out what we got
out of the chute yet.

But that's it right there.

[james] that's from the chute.
Holy smokes.

But what would
be your guess, man?

[james] four and a half?

-I think that's about
seven ounces, dude.
-[dustin] that much?

I think so.

Well...

-I tell you, that's three.
-[carlos] that's four.

-That's four,
right there. Way off.
-[carlos] that's four, man.

[carlos] six.
Holy crap, I'm way off.

Seven. It's still
going up, dude.

-[dustin] nine.
-[carlos] nine.

-Ten. [laughs] oh, my [bleep]!
-[carlos laughs]

-Twelve ounces, dude.
-[james] twelve?

[carlos] twelve ounces.

-[dustin] twelve ounces
we got out of that.
-[james] wow.

So we got 12 ounces
out of that chute.

I didn't think, I thought
it would be over in two days,
and I was wrong.

I'm glad you guys convinced me
to dig the damn thing.

Twelve ounces,
and I'm happy with that.

[carlos] that puts us
over 40 ounces, man.

We're doing better
every, every season.

[dustin] forty one and a half
ounces for the season.

That's not counting
the nuggets.

That's over $80,000.

[narrator] forty one
point seven ounces,

And with a premium paid for
jewelry-grade nuggets,

This pile of gold is worth
over $100,000.

In a year that could have
been a disaster,

Dustin and his crew have
produced a record gold haul.

[dustin] I was worried that
it had all been mined out.

That's not the case.

We know there's stuff
in my claims.

Now we can move
bigger boulders.

It opens up bigger windows.

I can't wait to dig more
of this stuff

Because I know we're gonna
find more of this.

And after everything
that's happened
in this season, man,

Pandemic, [bleep] thing,
uh, late start,

I mean, we pushed it
to the end.

Well, we know we picked
the right spot, we just...

Mother nature stopped us
before we could double this,
I bet, at least.

-[carlos] I think so.
-[james] I think so, too.

Another successful season
during the worst year ever.

We still have not hit bedrock.

So you can imagine,
twelve ounces from top.
What's in the bottom?

I'm happy these guys
stuck with me.

I'm proud of every one of 'em.
They saved me.

It's as real as it gets
right there.

I'll be grateful forever
on that one.

I can't wait to get back
next year and find out

What's at the bottom
of that chute.

It is the perfect gold catch.

We're getting it.
This is happening for us.