1. a challenging job or chore that is daunting from the outset
the journey/project/assignment was going to be an uphill task
'An uphill task' is one which appears to be daunting or is challenging and requires a large amount of effort from the beginning. This is an idiomatic expression used in social and professional contexts and probably comes from the Myth of Sysiphys who had the task of pushing a huge rock uphill every day. A similar phrase is 'a daunting task'.