I was reading a passage from ielts book to improve my reading skill, but there is a sentence I couldn’t figure out what idea it is expressing because the grammar sounds unusual to me, here is the sentence:

“On 24 July they were a few days into their descent of the valley.”

I am not sure the exact meaning of the phrase “they were a few days into”, does it mean they spent few days? I would be very grateful if someone can help me make it clear.

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    They simply had been descending into the valley for a couple of days. – oerkelens Jan 20 '18 at 16:25
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    It means they had been descending for a few of days, but also their descent is not complete. – Ross Murray Jan 20 '18 at 17:04

The AHD defines the idiomatic expression be into:

To have reached some point in an ongoing process or measure of time: I was halfway into this book when I lost interest in it. We were well into April before the snow stopped falling.

A few days into the descent, that is, the descent started a few days ago.

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