When the going gets tough, the tough seek new frontiers. Six recession-hit patriots from Oregon become greenhorn old miners and head north to Alaska to dig for gold and save themselves from financial ruin.
The greenhorn miners are at risk when a mechanical accident threatens to close mining season.
The crew races to set up the mining plant and start running dirt. When the families arrive from Oregon and question the lack of gold and the men's only mechanic becomes dangerously ill, the tension builds so high Dorsey and Todd come to blows.
The team attempts to finally run dirt through the wash plant. But a visit from the Department of Fish and Game reveals a violation, jeopardizing their vital water supply to the mine. Then disaster strikes asTodd's daughter fights for her life.
The miners continue to run dirt but an equipment malfunction brings the operation to a halt. Meanwhile, James Harness collapses and Jimmy Dorsey drives a wedge between himself and the crew when he takes on an extra job to earn cash.
After 80 days, the miners are behind schedule and out of money. They need to find $10,000 worth of gold within two days or the families will be sent home. Meanwhile, after Dorsey struggles with the wave table, tensions flare and fists fly.
With winter weather closing in, a gold recovery expert comes to help the rookies. Todd discovers a major design flaw in the equipment and is forced to make huge modifications. With the credit cards maxed out, he is forced to take desperate measures.
After a hundred days in Porcupine Creek, the miners have dug themselves into a deep financial hole. The claim's owner wants to be paid and brings in a veteran outsider to turn the operation around, leading to high tension around the claim.
Desperate to get to bedrock and large quantities of gold, Todd and Jack throw caution to the wind and dig deeper than ever before. With the brutal Alaskan winter threatening, they battle floods, cave-ins and equipment breakdowns.
With the arctic winter looming, the crew races against the clock. Rain and thawing snow flood the mine and Jack puts his life on the line as the glory hole caves in around the massive 100,000 pound excavator.
The Hoffman crew spent five months and over quarter of a million dollars in a desperate attempt to find gold in Alaska. This special episode reveals what went wrong and how the guys plan to hit the mother lode next season.