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Why did Brennan leave Parker on Gold Rush?

Why did Brennan Ruault leave Parker on Gold Rush?


Fans of the Discovery Channel’s hit show, Gold Rush, are hooked.

From valuable insight into how the modern era of gold mining works in North America, to all the drama of a reality television super series, viewers just can’t get enough.

And while there are plenty of cast members on the reality docuseries to choose from, Parker Schnabel seems to have gathered more than his fair share of fans.

He even scored his own spin-off with the highly acclaimed Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail.

With the right skill set and enough money to see the search through to the end, there’s a potential for every mining team to strike gold—literally.

Parker’s crew on Gold Rush have been pretty fortunate over the show’s seasons, despite him being the youngest head of a mining company in the show’s history.

Leading men twice his age on the hunt for gold looks like a daunting task, but one that the young Alaska native was ready to take on.

Not every member of Parker’s crew has stuck around, though.

One notable team member who chose to defect was the ultra-popular Brennan Ruault.

A key player on Schnabel’s side, fans were left reeling when the show’s 12th season revealed Brennan had jumped ship.

But why did Brennan leave Parker on Gold Rush?

And what’s he doing now?

Read on to find out.

But first…how did Parker Schnabel end up running a whole gold mine?


Parker’s grandfather, John Schnabel, put his mining operation at Big Nugget, Porcupine Creek, into his grandson’s capable hands when Parker was only 16 years old.

Not one to buckle under pressure, Parker stepped up—taking advice and guidance from his grandfather and his father, Roger.

In 1984, John Schnabel bought a claim at Porcupine Creek for his family.

Sure, he hoped it would be a good spot for mining—but he also saw it as somewhere he and his growing family could return year after year together.

He set up Big Nugget gold mine and went about creating a legacy for his children—and eventually, his grandchildren.

John’s son, Roger—Parker’s dad—is also a veritable force in the mining industry.

Following Parker’s decision to pack up his crew and head to Klondike when he turned 18, John and the family returned to the fold to run Big Nugget in his absence.

When did Brennan join Parker on Gold Rush?

Parker Schnabel’s inheritance


Ruault, who hails from Invermere, British Columbia, has always loved the outdoors life.

From hunting and fishing to driving snowmobiles, to logging and mining, Brennan is all about physically demanding outdoor pursuits.

When he left his job as a logger in Alberta in 2015, he was looking for work in gold mining.

Fortuitously, he met Parker Schnabel not long after through a mutual contact.

At the time, Parker was only 21 years old, but he had a keen eye for skill and work ethic, and the guidance of his grandfather and father.

He hired Brennan on the spot—and the move paid off handsomely.

Brennan was initially hired to work as an excavator operator.

It was a role he excelled at, and over the years, he would finely hone his skills to be one of the best in the industry.

He was also known for his high energy and enthusiasm, and fans fell in love with his excitement when it came time to weigh the crew’s gold haul.

From 2015 to 2020, Brennan proved himself time and again as a key player on Schnabel’s crew.

His work ethic and integrity led to him being promoted to the role of co-foreman.


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A post shared by Brennan Ruault (@goldrushbrennan)

Why did Brennan leave Parker on Gold Rush?

So, what happened to Brennan Ruault on Gold Rush? All relationships have their ups and downs, and the Brennan / Parker relationship was no exception following Brennan’s promotion. In an excerpt from the Discovery Channel’s hit show, Brennan is seen explaining the problems between the pair. “Parker and I just seemed to […] start butting heads a little bit more. It’s just made it quite tough and draining at the end of the day.”

For a guy with gold fever, a whole lot of energy, and a passion for the job, it was clear that the strains were weighing on him.

He went on to explain that the previous year had been “pretty brutal,” with he and his boss not able to get on the same page.

Putting the drama down to being “no way to work,” and tired of being “angry half the time,” Brennan clearly saw the writing on the wall and wanted to walk away from the situation.


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A post shared by Brennan Ruault (@goldrushbrennan)

Ruault was also able to pinpoint the moment that tipped him over the edge and helped solidify his decision to walk away from the crew he’d spent 5 years being a part of.

During a heated argument between the pair, Schnabel questioned Ruault’s leadership.

At that point, said Brennan, he knew that he needed to walk away.

“I was like, well, I don’t think it’s going to go any further for me.”

Fans found out about the big shift in September 2021, when season 12 of Gold Rush premiered on Discovery.

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Adding Insult to Injury


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A post shared by Brennan Ruault (@goldrushbrennan)

It seemed like enough of a shakeup to hear that the beloved Brennan Ruault would be leaving Parker’s crew.

But to hear that he was leaving and heading over to join Rick Ness in the Yukon really added salt to the wound for many fans.

In the show’s premiere episode, Brennan can be seen talking to Parker’s rival about his issues with his old crew.

Excited to put the past behind him and make a change, the expert excavator operator told the cameras:

“Whole new crew, whole new blood, and a whole new way of mining, you know?”

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