Frequently asked questions about Curse of the Frozen Gold, including whether it’s fake

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Is Curse of the Frozen Gold fake? That’s the question that thousands of potential new viewers find themselves asking, thanks to Animal Planet’s pending premiere of hot Canadian property Curse of the Frozen Gold. It’s the latest in a slew of popular treasure-centered reality television programmes, and the show’s success in Canada has American audiences intrigued. The biggest mystery for those audiences, though, is the Curse of the Frozen Gold fake issue.

To that end, then, we’ve assembled a list of the most commonly asked questions about Curse of the Frozen Gold, along with a thorough selection of answers.

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What is Curse of the Frozen Gold about? What’s the premise?

An excellent place to start. Here’s the official synopsis, per History Canada, on which channel the show airs up north:


A band of adventurers and experts join forces to solve the legend of BC’s Lost Creek Mine. Allegedly worth billions, ‘Slumach’s Gold’ has tantalized prospectors for over a century, and now a team of experienced gold hunters takes up the hunt – and the curse that goes with it. They’re an odd mix – young and fit mountain climbers, a gold-obsessed prospector, a local outdoorsman, and some savvy, but skeptical old-timers. They only have three months to explore the vast and rugged wilderness of Pitt Lake before winter weather sets in. So they quickly determine which six locations hold the most promise, and set off to investigate two of them: one backed by First Nations oral history, the other a secret location that might be linked to a fabled prospector’s letter. Working together for the first time, the group starts to realize what they’re up against – danger-filled locations, unreliable leads, not enough time, and delusional over-enthusiasm fuelled by gold fever. They set off on a challenging treasure hunt in the BC mountains – but when fights break out, they wonder if the team will even last the summer.


OK–so then who’s Slumach? And what’s his curse?

Slumach was the name of a Katzie First Nations man accused of killing another man, Louis Bee, in a dispute at Pitt Lake in 1890. Local legend has it that Slumach shot Bee in a dispute over gold. Slumach fled, and eluded authorities for several months, but surrendered as winter bore down, and was hanged by the neck until dead in January of 1891.

His curse, according to a separate press release (from Broadway World), is the basis for the Curse of the Frozen Gold fake rumors and speculation:


As legend goes, Slumach put a curse on all the gold he found in the mountains just before he was hanged for murder in 1891. It is said he muttered “When I die, the mine dies,” but that didn’t stop numerous PROSPECTORS from making the treacherous trek throughout the mountains searching for the riches. Some of them never returned and no one knows what happened to them. Whether it is the pull of the curse or gold-fever, people will still risk everything to find the truth and the gold.


It’s said that Slumach discovered an elusive and especially rich gold mine in the Pitt Lake Valley, but kept its location to himself…and took it with him to his grave. It wasn’t until a 1915 interview with a prospector that Slumach and the mine were connected; that interview was in a Wisconsin newspaper, though, and it wouldn’t be until 1926 that Slumach and his supposed gold were linked in Canada.

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Very well then. Who are the fabled PROSPECTORS featured on Curse of the Frozen Gold?

Another excellent question. There are six on the show; you can get a gander at them above. From left to right, they are:

Daryl Friesen, who has “been obsessed with Slumach’s gold since he was 12 years old.” According to Daryl’s Animal Planet bio, “He’s devoted his entire adult life in search of it, and he’s sacrificed countless hours,resources, relationshipseven risked his life in the name of Slumach.”

Danny Gerak, who “grew up on stories of Slumach’s gold,” and who’s said to know the Pitt Lake Valley–and its secrets–better than anyone else on earth.

Don Waite, a retired federal police officer, who’s studied the alleged hidden cache of gold for 40 years, written four books on the topic of gold hunting in general, and led five major expeditions into the Pitt Lake Valley, looking for Slumach’s elusive treasure. Don is also “the only person on the team who can say he’s talked to Slumach’s descendants,” as he’s built relationships with members of Slumach’s tribe over a number of years.

Fred Braches, “an avid historian and researcher,” who claims he’s only interested in the mysterious frozen gold because he wants to find out whether it even exists. (Skeptics on the whole Curse of the Frozen Gold fake topic will likely glom onto Fred like a barnacle to a ship’s tummy.) Fred will be playing the role of the feisty, grizzled old man; “the team needs his research and his perspective, even though they usually disagree with him.”

Adam Palmer, a mountaineer with 20 years’ experience, who’s been “obsessed” with the legend of Slumach’s gold since he first heard the tale a decade ago.

And, finally, Evan Howard, Adam’s mountaineering partner, who fancies himself a geologist of solid enough standing to be able to detect “the potential of gold-bearing minerals in remote areas where the rest of the team simply can’t go.”

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But is Curse of the Frozen Gold fake? Is there evidence of any actual gold?

As is often the case with treasure hunt shows like these, this is where the issue gets a bit murky. Recently deceased Canadian politician and seasoned local historian Bill Barlee claimed that the Curse of the Frozen Gold fake allegations were accurate: in Barlee’s mind, the “highly colorful and interesting tale” of a gold mine hidden and kept cursed by a dead Indian’s spirit, “probably does not exist.” Barlee cited the geological surveys, which stated that gold in the area was highly unlikely, as his primary reason–and his citation has been supported by historian Garnet Basque, whose book Lost Bonanzas of Western Canada further points to geologists who state that the Pitt Lake Valley “is not gold bearing.”

That said, the Pitt Lake area is also said to contain “some of the most rugged, dangerous terrain in British Columbia,” per a 2014 article in The ProvinceHowever, that article also quotes a local photographer and Slumach student who provided an amusing alternate explanation for the gold mine.

“The most plausible explanation for Slumach’s lost gold mine,” said Gerry Kahrmann, “was that he was jumping gold prospectors coming back to New West and making off with their gold. That was his gold mine.”

For even more information–including some long, hard looks at the Curse of the Frozen Gold fake topic, you might head over to Fred Braches’ own web site, Fred bills his as “a website for all who prefer facts over fiction,” which means there’s no shortage of documentation for visitors to pore over.

And, to check out the show and start trying to solve the Curse of the Frozen Gold fake mystery for yourself, tune in to Animal Planet on Sunday nights at 10 PM EST.


(Photo credits: Curse of the Frozen Gold fake via Facebook)

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