History Tries Mining For Ratings’ Gold With ‘Tougher in Alaska’

History will premiere the weekly series Tougher in Alaska May 8 at 10 p.m., officials said Wednesday.

Host Geo Beach, who has lived in Alaska for more than 25 years, is on a quest to find out what it really takes to survive and thrive in Alaska.

Since moving to Alaska, Beach has worked as a logger, firefighter and medic, and commercial fisherman—including winter crabbing on the Bering Sea. He knows his way around oil spills and industrial kitchens, construction sites and law enforcement.

Each episode of Tougher in Alaska charts an expedition through the far-flung corners of the huge Alaskan state—from the tops of mountains to the depths of the Bering Sea.

It investigates unique aspects of life in Alaska, looks at how Alaskan pioneers got things done in the past, and explores how they overcome harsh conditions to get things done today. Along the way, viewers meet a lot of plucky Alaskans—all following in the footsteps of the great explorers who originally survived and thrived in the extreme environment.

The first week of show, Beach goes hunting for gold in the great Alaskan wilderness, something people have been doing since the 1870s, when the promise of gold first lured men north to Alaska. Today, with the cost of gold skyrocketing, the race is on once again and he joins in on the chase.

He’ll see how individual prospectors around the state use ingenious techniques (including a giant underwater vacuum) to get the gold out, and he’ll join a team of hard rock miners in the frontier mining town of Wiseman as they blast through 250 feet of rock in the hopes of hitting the mother lode.

In future episodes, Beach tackles different, demanding adventures and locations—vividly illustrating how living in Alaska is just plain harder than it is in the Lower 48.