I own a 61in vride as well and had the same opinions as you regarding hillside operation and traction...until i made some mods to move the machine's center of balance back some.
These simple changes that really made HUGE difference...
-Take all 3 belt covers off the machine(permanently)
-Take the 35lb cast iron weight off the front machine and bolt it to the bottom of the operator foot platform using two 1/2" carriage bolts (The holes will line up with the perforated traction holes in the platform) This sounds weird but it made the biggest difference
-Make sure the tires have 8 psi in them.
-Remove waist/hip pad. (allows you to lean over the controls more going up hill, which you'll need with the lighter front end and allows you to lean side to side easier)
Also simple operation methods that dramatically increase traction/decrease turfing
-Let your heels hang off the back of operator platform pretty much all the time except going up hill
-When going downhill get as much of your body as far uphill as you can
-When facing down hill and maneuvering around obstacles that require you to turn the nose of the machine uphill (this is when I have the most trouble) be sure to get the both wheels moving some first before using one side to actually turn.
After these changes I have found this mower to be much better on hills than my 36" and 60" turf tracers.
Also this is my first post...sorry if its messed up. Noob...