I would practice weighted and unweighted turns focusing on how soon you can weight the new lead ski. Generally speaking on xcd skis you will need more speed to get them to turn when not unweighting.
To speed up the learning curve use the shortest skis you have ( maybe your wife's ) even if you think they are way too short. Also a ski with a smooth base will be easier to turn at lower speed than a waxless ski because of the drag created by the patterned base.
It's always something simple, sometimes just a matter of figuring out what your flaws are and working on them. This is why I agree skiing with someone with a lot of experience would help because they would probably easily point it out.
I had lots of small bumps along the way in Alpine skiing and it took a while but eventually someone showed me something that clicked and I kind of broke out of the rut I was in.
I don't know that I'll find you boys out in the woods - seems like I'd have a difficult time hunting you down. I'll definitely go ski with Johnny. He's a maniac but he also seems pretty understanding. I doubt he'd poke fun of me too much and probably would help me out a lot.
If you guys ever make it out of Vermont I'd meet you half way in the Adirondacks. We could tour around on some trails and then shoot off up in the trees where it looks open. It isn't half bad... I bet you'd have fun. After all the Adirondack park is roughly the size of VT, and well like I always say half of that is public land... so there's no shortage of places to go. It doesn't always work out to be the best, but it's fun to explore.
If I lived closer I'd probably check out VT - it's just the Adirondacks are right in the way and I always stop there. Can't help myself!
As for Ron, he gets back what he puts out... that's never changed. If he was smart he'd drop what he's doing out in Idaho and stay out in VT for the winter. I bet he'd have a lot more fun and be a lot happier. I'm sure he has family in ID that are holding him back, but he could always go back for the summer. He really does identify with you guys so I'm not sure what's stopping him - plus you guys have tons of terrain to ski and it doesn't cost you a dime.
I can understand wanting to ski light gear, I skied it almost exclusivly until 10 years ago. The thing I don't get is sticking with double camber skis, long poles and not using a light cable binding. As I've gotten older with bad knees, shoulders and back, I don't have what it takes(mentally) to commit to the speed needed to make the gear work in most of the off trail condition that I encounter.
It's all good as long as you are having fun and stay safe. I hope your back is feeling better.
On consolidated snow I don't weight/unweight actively. Instead I check momentum (decelerating force?) caused by turns and initiate next turn when the momentum reaches a maximum. I try to switch as smoothly as possible. No jumps or crouching.
In powder I check buoyance sensed from my leading ski. As with the case of consolidated snow above, I initiate next turn when the buoyance reaches a maximum. Transition should be smooth as well. My body works like suspension to absorb that buoyance as much as possible. No stomping on it. I don't take a jumping action seen in an alpine-ski technique.
Also, no offense, but I wouldn't limit yourself to his cabin. So much land to explore. Pack a few beers and a sandwich and head out along a trail. You'll find something cool. Doubt you'll see a moose though... I'm still lookin', haven't seen one yet. Coyotes, fox, deer, owls - that's what I usually see, they are hard to spot but out there... lots of land for them to cover.
I go into full vagabond redneck mode when I get into the Adirondacks. I always have a few beers in my car, misc gear strewn about in no sort of order, and I usually stink to high hell. In fact I think my ski jacket is only being held together by stink particles... it would probably disintegrate if I washed it. I'm an obvious flatlander but I get along with the locals; some have even befriended me. Adirondack folk are a strange breed... libertarian or conservative as all fuck unless you are Saranac lake, that place is a little bit liberal. Don't bring any VT politics with you... leave that at home. Don't expect anything fancy unless you go to Placid - most of the park is pretty low brow, and it's better that way... dirty and kinda rough around the edges.
I recommend getting into the central parts down south of the High Peaks. Absolutely stunning, rugged, and remote. The northwest is flat and ridiculously remote, there's almost nothing there. The farther south you get, the more like central ny it gets - more NY redneck. The mountains are smaller for the most part but the forests are vast. Towns are small, poor, and undeveloped yet fairly regularly spaced. Lake George is a mess, I've never been in the summer but in the winter, fall or spring it's a really amazing area. Tons of history, vast, open hardwood forests yet with tons of glacial erratics. It's great territory for bushwacking, but on skis it could be a challenge. I've never skied that far south - would love to but it's hard to catch it when they have enough snow. Head back west and it's lowland, steep but small ridges, some rolling hills - lots of lakes and small ponds. This is the area I'm most familiar with and they usually get a good amount of early season snow from lake Ontario. It's also the closest to me (farthest from VT) so that's why I get there often, or drive through. It still has the same character as the rest of the Adirondack dome but on a smaller scale.