One of the few problems with Dynafit bindings has been the difficulty of switching from latched to free heel. Most users remove their bindings, then re-enter in tour mode. Others are able to rotate the heel unit enough with their ski pole tip to “pop” their boot heel up into tour mode.
Perhaps the best method yet is popular with Andrew McLean and other backcountry skiing mountaineers, and uses the ski pole grip as a lever to do a tricky maneuver that releases your heel. Andrew shares the trick in this excellent video clip.
There is some question about doing this trick with Dynafit brakes installed. Not recommended. As as you rotate the heel into the touring mode the brake has to retract under the force of the rotation — and it may take considerable force to do this (especially if there is snow under the brake actuator plate). This force, along with the upward pressure of the brake and your your boot, will cause more wear inside the binding, and if too much force is required something may break. Normally, when you change Dynafits to touring mode from alpine mode, you should retract the brake with your hand before rotating the heel unit, thus allowing the heel unit to rotate freely. So take care using this trick if you have brakes installed.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.