Parker Schnabel‘s latest adventure was nothing short of challenging.
The star of Discovery’s hit series Gold Rush landed his own adventure special on the network Parker’s Trail, which will be a 3-part docu-series. The show will feature the 22-year-old and his small team as they set out to tackle the great Alaskan wilderness as they follow in the footsteps of former gold miners.
“We needed a good group of people,” Schnabel tells PEOPLE of how he formed his group.
Along for the ride is Schnabel’s foreman Rick Ness, wilderness guide Karla Ann (who once worked with Schnabel as a rock truck driver) and cameramen James Levelle, (who has known Schnabel for years). But getting everyone together wasn’t a guarantee, Ness took some convincing.
“Rick is the opposite type of guy for this,” Schnabel says with a laugh. “He smokes like a chimney, drinks pile of beer … his type of workout is to lift a pile of weights and he does not do cardio. He likes being comfortable and he’s really the last guy who should be doing something like this, but I wanted to get him out of his comfort zone and see what happens.”
As for Levelle and Karla, both were on board from the start.
“Karla actually worked at the mine site for a little while driving a rock truck — she was just super cool, fun and had tons of energy,” Schnabel says of asking her to join the team. “She loves being in the woods and is at home out doing something like this. That was a no brainer in the sense we needed someone to keep us all alive and try to keep us in one piece.”
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But things wound up getting messy within the group once the journey began.
“James and I got into it quite a bit,” admits Schnabel. “I just don’t really like the guy. I thought I did before this all really started. I haven’t spoken to him almost since it ended.”
Schnabel insists it has nothing to do with being TV, but instead, not seeing eye-to-eye with Levelle on the trail.
“It had nothing to do with the TV side of it, our personalities just didn’t quite jive,” he says. “It comes out a little bit on the show, but with something like this, it’s hard to get it on camera and that’s not my priority. But James and I had quite a few issues. I had a real problem with some of the things that he did.”
The reality star went on to add that spending every single day with the same people for a month straight became quite a mental challenge.
“Probably the biggest obstacle that sticks out in my head was the mental challenge, not only internally, but dealing with the same four people 18 hours a day for a month straight, it’s a very trying thing,” he says. “I’m used to being able to get away and be on my own and there was none of that.”
“We were stuck in there together, especially in the water… it was challenging,” Schnabel continues. “It’s easy to forget about some hunger or the cold because I didn’t lose any toes or fingers, but the one [obstacle] that sticks out is the psychological warfare.”
See an exclusive sneak peek of Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail above!
Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail premiers Friday at 9 p.m. ET on the Discovery Channel.