During the Antarctic winter of 1929, the entire Byrd expedition retreated into Little America for the long 6 months of darkness. During this time, attention was focused on planning the geological expedition to the Queen Maude Mountains, which would be led by Dr. Lawrence Gould, and of course the related flight to the South Pole. In October, a team was able to leave Little America to establish store depots for the geological party. On November 4, Gould and his party of 5 men with dogs and sleds, set out for the Queen Maude Mountains.
Larry Gould and the geological party spent 10 weeks in the Antarctic wilderness before returning to Little America on January 19, 1930. During this time they accomplished much, including geological investigation. Indeed, they discovered sandstone and coal on Mount Nansen and in so doing proved that the mountains were not volcanic as was suspected. In addition, they discovered the stone cairn left by Roald Amundsen 18 years earlier on his return from the South Pole.